Young adult readers are often reckoning with history, whether it’s their own personal history or the larger history of their culture, country, or faith. Confronting these histories is often intersectional, as people and characters face realizations in their own life only to find it mirrored on a larger scale. Seeing their experiences on the page is validating and meaningful.
There are two sets of connected books on this list. Hearts Unbroken and Harvest House by Cynthia Leitich Smith are set in the same universe as Rain is Not My Indian Name. Hearts Unbroken and Harvest House are narrated by a sister and brother, respectively, taking place a short time span apart. Angeline Boulley’s Firekeeper’s Daughter and Warrior Girl Unearthed also take place in the same family and universe, with more of a time gap and the narrator shifting from an aunt to her niece.
All the titles on this list demonstrate how reckoning with history is a long process. Reexamining history, personal or large scale, is an event that will likely be repeated throughout one’s life and will affect family members in different ways.