Are your teen readers interested in social justice? Are they connecting to the nonfiction content they’re reading? Join moderator Cicely Lewis and authors Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Lars Ortiz, and Dr. Artika Tyner as they discuss three fascinating YA books featuring authentic voices and hidden figures in history, which are sure to inspire discussion and action.
Read on to see what each author will be bringing to the presentation and how their books help educate and engage teen readers!
Talia Aikens-Nuñez is the author of Men of the 65th: The Borinqueneers of the Korean War. The 65th US Army Regiment was the envy of generals and the pride of Puerto Rico. So why did a regiment known for honorable service in two world wars lay down their arms and refuse to fight in the Korean War, leading to the largest mass court martial? Aikens-Nuñez tells the unsung stories of these soldiers—their successes, their failures, and the discrimination they faced during their service.
Lars Ortiz is the author of Walls and Welcome Mats: Immigration and the American Dream, which examines how immigration shaped America and the current backlash against it. This in-depth account humanizes the past and present challenges faced by immigrants and refugees and highlights the optimism that leads people to seek a better future in a new land.
Dr. Artika Tyner’s newest book, Reimagining Police: The Future of Public Safety, explores the troubled past and present of policing in the US, as well as the underlying problems of a flawed criminal justice system and unjust social structures. Tyner debunks the misconception that calls for change are anti-police, while offering hope for a more harmonious future between law enforcement and the people it swears to protect and serve.
Learn how to engage teen readers through these challenging topics, discover the value of having diverse voices contributing to historical discussions, and discuss ways to encourage teens to read more nonfiction.