Gravel Road, award-winning realistic teen fiction, highlights the talents of our urban street lit authors. Each book is approximately 200 pages, and is written at a 3.0 reading level. Nasreen and Mia are two very different girls. But they stand out at Arondale High. And kids make assumptions about the only Muslim and the new black girl--the only African American--in school. "Who let you into the suburbs?" Samantha asks. Everyone gawks. Nasreen has kept her head down for years. Eighteen months and shes out, she tells herself. Off to college. Mia is bold. Yeah, she wishes she were somewhere else, but shes not going to take the bullying lying down. She has to live her life. Graduate. Get into a good school. The school administrators are ignorant. And worse. The bullying escalates. Both at school and online. The girls come up with a plan to fight back. To regain some dignity. To turn the tables on the bullies.
Just like prose, a novel in verse tells a story. But verse is unique because readers access the text through short chapters, or poems. The varying lengths of the chapters are ideal for a struggling reader, giving them breaks to collect their thoughts, to imagine the characters in their mind's eye, and to set the scene - like a frame in a movie. Like watching a movie frame by frame, we watch Lexi is come unglued in this novel in verse. She's alienated from school and family. Her father is in the county jail. She cannot connect with her chain-smoking stepmom. Her brother, Blaine, is trapped in his own autistic world. And her infant sister's death has sent her into a spiral of grief and rebellion. Bright, witty, and irreverent, Lexi tries to navigate the rocky transition from adolescent to young woman. Winner of the 2014 Gold Moonbeam Award.
What if everything you believed in was a lie? Eric’s old girlfriend moves back to town. Even before he sees her, old feelings stir inside him. Danielle has kept a secret, though. She has never been comfortable in her own skin. Now she identifies as male and goes by Dan. What does it mean to live your truth, and what happens when others are cruelly ignorant? Eric’s honesty and integrity are questioned. Will he let prejudice destroy what was once a deep friendship?
Gabby Herrera is not like her perfect sister, Celia--straight-A student, obedient, responsible. Her parents don't get it. They don't get er C-average report card. Her love for basketball. "The three of them think anything is possible if you just try hard enough. Well, I've tried. It's not possible." She can't be who she is unless she is just like them. And if she's not like them, she's not a real person. She's a broken person. A broken Herrera. And that is unacceptable.
Sixteen-year-old Neema Powell was always the best-looking girl in school. Her girlfriends said that she looked like Beyonce, with beautiful caramel skin and a body others would kill for. But right now she was a wreck. Her mother's sleazy boyfriend was towering over her screaming, "Get out!" And her own mother wouldn't even look at her as she walked out of the apartment into the dead January day. Neema knew that Nate, her boyfriend, would take care of her. I'll give Mom a couple of days to calm down, Neema thought, and I'll swing by to pick up a few items. Like my pills. A couple of days couldn't hurt. But those two days made all the difference, and Neema must draw from somewhere deep for the inner strength she will need.
After two years in a loving home, TJ's mother got him back. She was clean. No pot. No meth. His chest felt like it was burning. His heart was racing. Trapped. He felt trapped. He didn't have a say. Everything he had come to care about would be gone: Miss Dixie, hot meals, friends, Mae's little hand, and Annabelle. And the brutal life he'd escaped quickly reclaimed him. Kaden Cruz didn't run after him. Instead his voice boomed, "You owe us." TJ didn't look back. But he knew this wasn't the end of Kaden Cruz. He could still hear his father's voice. "It's not free. You'll have to pay them back one day."
This book looks at the geography, history, resources, and people of the Southwest region of the United States. Reading Essentials in Social Studies.