Historical Fiction, YA Fiction

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Grades 9-12


Burn Baby Burn is Meg Medina’s latest novel. It takes place in 1977 in New York, among Son of Sam, constant arson and a blackout. Nora Lopez and her friend Kathleen MacInerney try to stay out of trouble dying their senior year in high school, because Nora’s single mother surely can’t manage if something happened to Nora in these crazy times, so her curfew is “before dark.” On top of that, Nora’s older brother is spinning out of control and her father is so busy with his new family that he only remembers to call on national holidays (which of course don’t include Nora’s birthday). Medina captures 1977 so that those who grew up in the 70s will be nostalgic and those who were born after will get a clear picture about what life was like then.

Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

Grades 4-6


In It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas, Zomorod, also known as Cindy, is eleven years old, and is moving for the fourth time. It is the late 1970s and her family is from Abadan, Iran. Sometimes they move back to Iran, and sometimes it’s another city in California.

This time, they move to Newport Beach, California, to a condominium, where there are lots of rules they need to follow:  take out the trash on Wednesday nights, don’t leave the empty bins out, and never, ever lose the pool key!

In addition to getting used to her new town, Cindy has to come with her mom everywhere so she can translate things from English to Persian and vice versa. Can she remember all those rules, translate things for her mom and fit in at her new school? Read It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas to find out!