Companion Titles - OCOB 2021

Jump to a list by choosing your section of interest below:

Like Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay, the following fiction and nonfiction books deal with the Los Angeles riots, immigrant families, black American frustration, activism, and more. We hope reading these books helps you develop a deeper understanding of our county’s and country’s diversity.

Fiction Titles

  • Forgotten Country, Catherine Chung - Immigration, identity, and two estranged sisters are the focus of this book about a Korean-American family with a mysterious past (2012).
  • The Fortunes, Peter Ho Davies - A series of short stories dramatizing the Asian-American experience from the time of railroad building in the 19th century to today (2016).
  • House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus - An emotional legal struggle over a piece of real estate in northern California pits a West Asian immigrant against a white woman (1999).
  • All Involved, Ryan Gatti - Six inter-related individuals live through the LA riots following the Rodney King decision (2015).
  • The Other Americans, Laila Lalami - In a multi-cultural Mojave desert town, a Moroccan immigrant and popular diner owner dies in a hit and run car accident his daughter maintains was intentional (2019).
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyelaichi - Two black siblings with extraordinary powers commune when one is wrongly imprisoned because of race in this dystopian narrative (2020).

Nonfiction Titles

The following lists were put together as additional reading for children and young adults.

Ages 15+

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
  • Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang  (Graphic novel)
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds (Non-fiction)


Ages 9-14

  • Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
  • Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
  • Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
  • What Lane? By Torrey Maldonado
  • Three Keys by Kelly Yang
  • Class Act by Jerry Craft  (Graphic novel)
  • The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth by Wade Hudson (Non-fiction)
  • This Is Your Brain On Stereotypes: How Science Is Tackling Unconscious Bias by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Drew Shannon (Non-Fiction)

Ages 3-8

  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson  (Self-expression/Common ground)
  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar (Cultural differences/Friendship)
  • Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Mendez (Emigration/Immigration)
  • Northbound by Michael S. Bandy (Segregation)
  • Lubaya’s Quiet Roar by Marilyn Nelson (Activism)


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