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One Houston One Book: HPL

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The Name Jar
By: Yangsook Choi
Kids Title


Explores questions about difference, identity, and cultural assimilation. When Unhei, a young Korean girl, moves to America and arrives at a new school, she begins to wonder if she should also choose a new name. Her classmates suggest Daisy, Miranda, Lex, and more, but nothing seems to fit.



About the Authors
Yangsook Choi grew up in Seoul, Korea. She started drawing at age four and loved telling her grandma scary stories. She moved to the United States in 1991 to study art and has written and illustrated many award-winning books for young readers, including The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy and Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong by Frances Park and Ginger Park.








Punching the Air
By: Ibi Zoboi & Dr. Yusef Salaam
Teens Title


Partly inspired by Yusef Salaam’s life, Punching the Air is a novel in verse about a Black teen boy who is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and tries to find refuge in art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?



About the Authors
Born in Haiti and raised in New York, Ibi Zoboi is the author of the debut YA novel American Street, a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book. Dr. Yusef Salaam was just 15 years old when his life was upended after being wrongly convicted with four other boys in the “Central Park jogger” case. In 2002, the young men’s sentences were overturned, and they are now known as the Exonerated Five.









Once I Was You: A Memoir
By: Maria Hinojosa
Adults Title


In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. She offers a personal and illuminating account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also sanctioned willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations.



About the Author
Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who, for nearly thirty years, has reported on stories and communities in America that often go ignored by the mainstream media—from tales of hope in the South Bronx to the unseen victims of the War on Terror and the first detention camps in the US. Bestselling author Julia Álvarez has called her “one of the most important, respected, and beloved cultural leaders in the Latinx community.”







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