Bay City Books: Youth Voices

With subjects ranging from current social issues to criminal mysteries, nine East Bay high school students share the wide variety of books they have been reading recently.

Diya Raghavan
15, Pleasanton
Amador Valley High School

“One book that I read recently and couldn’t put down is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It delves into class relations and the white savior topics, and it’s a really good story too! Given the current climate we live in, I think it’s a great book to read.”

Lauren Ottley 
18, San Ramon
Dougherty Valley High School

“I’m currently reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. It’s very different from what I normally read, but hearing about antiracism from Black voices is so important right now and as conversations on social media start to die out, I want to continue my learning. I also think it’s really important to diversify your fiction shelf, and read about people apart from your own experiences just living.”

Haley Haslim 
16, Dublin 
Valley Christian High School

“I recently read the book We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This intriguing mystery full of unexpected plot twists is one of my favorites. The book explores the issues of race, class, and family conflict in an unvarnished way that any reader can understand.”

Kavin Kumaravel
17, San Ramon 
Dougherty Valley High School

“I’m currently reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami with a couple of friends as part of a quarantine book club. The book is really surrealist and strange, but it’s also pretty gripping. I’m excited to see how the story ends!”

Rhea Braganza 
16, San Ramon 
Dougherty Valley High School

“I’m reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. I like it because it brings to me a whole new perspective on racism and oppression and it will help me be more self aware. It will also help me have more educated discussions with people.”

Katie Wiest
15, Pleasanton
Amador Valley High School

From Reverence to Rape by Molly Haskell is a book I’m currently reading that views the world of film through a feminist perpsective. It addresses how films through the ages have set—and perpetuated— certain stereotypes, and how events throughout history have affected movies and their content.”

Adrian Chan 
16, San Ramon 
Dougherty Valley High School

“Recently I’ve been able to read a lot from Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan, which is about cooking, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. It was refreshing to learn about this crucial life skill that school often skips out on. Letting friends and family try my bubble tea and seeing their reactions was the best part of it all!”

Emily Yang 
16, Pleasanton 
Amador Valley High School

“One of my favorite books that I’ve recently finished is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It’s a really thought provoking book that explores the effect that people’s perception of you can have on the way you’re treated in society while also telling a heart-warming love story between a marsh girl and her friend.”

Esha Perala
15, San Ramon 
Dougherty Valley High School

“A book I recently read is called One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. It’s a crime fiction novel and features the perspectives of four characters. It’s interesting to see how their stories connect. I highly recommend reading this book; you won’t be able to put it down!”

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