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KIDS

BOOKLISTS

Ages 9-12

World Fiction

Find these books and more online at https://catalog.coolcat.org

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice. All light in Chattana is created by one man -- the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong's prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free. Nok, the prison warden's perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family's good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat's twist on Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice -- and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.
Ahimsa by  Supriya Kelkar
Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when ten-year-old Anjali's mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother's work.
Akissi : Tales of Mischief by  Marguerite Abouet
Collects the adventures of Akissi, a young West African girl who is always getting into trouble. But Akissi is a true adventurer, and nothing scares her away from hilarious escapades in her modern African city.
Before the Sword by Grace Lin
An original tale, inspired by legends of Mulan Hua and popularized by Disney. When her sister is bitten by a poisonous spider, Mulan travels with a healer to find a flower from which the antidote can be made to save her sister's life. Includes bibliographical references (page 379).
Bronze and Sunflower by  Wenxuan Cao
Taken in by a poor family in a rural village after the death of her father, Sunflower bonds with the family's only child, Bronze, who has not spoken since being traumatized by a terrible fire. Friendship and love sustain the two children and those around them, and Sunflower becomes a beloved member of her new community.
Brother's Keeper by  Julie (Children's fiction writer) Lee
Twelve-year-old Sora and her eight-year-old brother, Youngsoo, must try to escape North Korea's oppressive Communist regime on their own in 1950. Includes historical notes, photographs of the author's mother, glossary of Korean words, and timeline.
Catherine's War by  Julia Billet
As France buckles under the Nazi regime, budding photographer Rachel Cohen must change her name, go into hiding, and bear witness to the atrocities of World War II.
Fly on the Wall by  Remy Lai
Twelve-year-old Henry Khoo embarks on a forbidden journey from Australia to Singapore to prove his independence to his overprotective family, while working out some problems with friends. Told in comics and prose.
Ikenga by  Nnedi Okorafor
In southeastern Nigeria, twelve-year-old Mnamdi is determined to avenge his police chief father, who was murdered while triyng to rid the town of criminals, but Nnamdi feels powerless until he receives a magical object which gives him superpowers.
Letters From Cuba by  Ruth Behar
In 1938, eleven-year-old Esther joins her father in tropical, multicultural Cuba, where they toil together to rescue the rest of their Jewish family from persecution in Poland. Includes notes about the author's grandmother, on whom the story is based.
Mananaland by Pam Munoz Ryan
Twelve-year-old Max, who loves the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow, sets out on a dangerous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds, armed with a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo's legend as his only guides.
Moonlocket by  Peter Bunzl
Follows Lily, Robert, and Malkin the mechanical fox as they race around steampunk, Victorian London trying to solve a mystery involving the criminal mastermind Jack of Diamonds and a family heirloom. A thrilling tale of catastrophe and courage
Shuri by  Nic Stone
For centuries, the Chieftain of Wakanda (the Black Panther) has gained his powers through the juices of the Heart-Shaped Herb. Much like Vibranium, the Heart-Shaped Herb is essential to the survival and prosperity of Wakanda. But something is wrong. The plants are dying. No matter what the people of Wakanda do, they can't save them. And their supply is running short. It's up to Shuri to travel from Wakanda in order to discover what is killing the Herb, and how she can save it, in the first volume of this all-new, original adventure.
The Bridge Home by  Padma Venkatraman
Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city's trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom. Set in India.
When Life Gives You Mangos by  Kereen Getten
Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there's nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah--even though lately she's not acting like a best friend. The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island--and give Clara a summer she won't forget.
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson
Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp--Provided by publisher.
Words on Fire by  Jennifer A Nielsen
In 1893 twelve-year-old Audra lives on a farm in Lithuania, and tries to avoid the Cossack soldiers who enforce the Russian decrees that ban Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language; but when the soldiers invade the farm Audra is the only one who escapes and, unsure of what has happened to her parents, she embarks on a dangerous journey, carrying the smuggled Lithuanian books that fuel the growing resistance movement, unsure of who to trust, but risking her life and freedom for her country.
Updated 11/19/2021