My Name: Books for Young Adults

Amina's Voice

Names matter, especially for young adults trying to figure out who they are. These stories explore names that are given, taken away, changed, or mispronounced. They also explore the stories and significance of names.

See our related section on Getting Students' Names Right for videos, classroom resources, and more.

Amina's Voice

By: Hena Khan
Age Level: 12-14

Now that Amina is in middle school, everything feels different. Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized. Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani-American and highlights the many ways in which one girl's voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

My Name Is Jorge on Both Sides of the River

Age Level: 9-12
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

This collection of bilingual poems gives voice to a young boy who has recently come to the U.S. from Mexico. He wonders, for example, why he has suddenly lost all of his intelligence here if in his country he was smart. From getting a library card to making friends, Jorge must find ways to overcome the challenges of his new life. An excellent portrayal of the roller coaster that newcomers experience upon arrival in the U.S.

My Name Is Maria Isabel

Illustrated by: K. Dyble Thompson
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: For María Isabel Salazar López, the hardest thing about being the new girl in school is that the teacher doesn't call her by her real name. "We already have two Marías in this class," says her teacher. "Why don't we call you Mary instead?" But María Isabel has been named for her Papá's mother and for Chabela, her beloved Puerto Rican grandmother. Can she find a way to make her teacher see that if she loses her name, she's lost the most important part of herself?

My Name Is Seepeetza

Age Level: 9-12

Her Salish name is Seepeetza, but at the Indian residential school in British Columbia, she is called Martha. She hates her white name, but she is beaten if she talks "Indian." Her long hair is cut off. At the same time, the other students pick on her because she has green eyes and looks white…First published in 1992 in Canada, where it won the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Book Prize, this autobiographical novel is written in the form of Seepeetza's diary in her sixth-grade year in the 1950s. — Booklist

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems

Age Level: 12-14
Language: English

Twelve-year-old red-headed Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He’s starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. Trusting in his family’s traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Winner of the 2019 Walter Honor Book Award for Younger Readers and the Pura Belpré Author Honor Award.