Romina Garber is the YA author of many books, but most recently Lobizona about a girl who finds a magical world straight out of Argentine folklore.
What Romina recommends: Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
I’ve been itching to give a shoutout to Sara Saedi’s Americanized, which is SO good — it’s been optioned by Reese Witherspoon’s company, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it. It's #ownvoices at its best — a nuanced narrative so personal that it feels universal. Sara is so unapologetic about her identity that she weaves in lessons on Iranian history and corrects common stereotypes and misconceptions. Despite the heavy subject matter, the inner monologue had me laughing out loud, and at times cringing in relatable pain over world-ending issues like acne and unibrows and how to skip PE. Still, on every page, I feared for Sara and her family’s safety, and I feared even more for the undocumented families living in the US today, who inhale this fear with every breath. Sara includes useful resources at the end of the book for immigrants who want to know their rights and readers who want to learn more about immigration.
Romina also is eager to read: Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez.
It's about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line — including parental approval and societal expectations and first love — to pursue her dreams. It’s a story about what happens when we dare to defy the expectations placed on us by our community, and our family, and ourselves. It’s about the bravery it takes to chase our passion across all kinds of borders. And for me, it’s about reading a story set in my homeland, with Argentine foods and expressions and traditions. I didn’t have books like these when I was a teen, but I am so thrilled for all the future generations who will read Camila Hassan’s story. This one comes out Sept. 15 and it's my most anticipated read!