Branch Out

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Christina Paladeau,
Editor, Branch Out

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Step Into New Worlds Through Books


teenage boy sits on a wispy white cloud in the blue sky reading a book

Discover new perspectives for better understanding — and better living.

A Journey Without the Travel

Reading books not only transports us to new locations, but it also provides opportunities to experience what someone else’s life is like. Some of the best books introduce characters who come from different backgrounds and let the story unfold as those characters get to know each other and build trust, understanding and even friendship. These books teach us that we can solve life’s big problems if we work together.

Titles About Coming Together

These two YA fiction books are a good place to start if you’re looking for stories that feature characters with different lived experiences who learn to come together.

book cover of All American BoysAll American Boys
by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Rashad and Quinn’s lives are so different that it feels a little like they live on different planets, even though they live in the same city and go to the same school. When Rashad is the victim of police brutality, Quinn learns to see the world through another’s eyes and discovers that the forces that hold us together are stronger than those that try to pull us apart.

book cover Truly DeviousTruly Devious
by Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell wants to do the unthinkable: solve a series of murders that have gone unsolved for decades. Lucky for her, those murders took place on the campus of an elite private school called Ellingham Academy — and Stevie has just been admitted. To solve the case, Stevie will need to understand the mindset and motivations of wealthy, Northeast socialites, which might be a problem for a working-class kid from Pittsburgh. As Stevie makes friends with her classmates — many of whom have more in common with the murder victims than with her — they help her make new connections in the case.

Looking for Something More?

If these options don’t speak to you, visit the My Perfect Read "See Who's Into What" page and identify your literary interests to find reader's advisors who share them. They're happy to make personal recommendations; all you have to do is ask! Connect with them online via My Perfect Read.

a reader's advisor sticks with her arm and chin resting on a stack of books with

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