Whether young or young at heart, these adult books are great for readers of all ages!
BUTTERFLY: From Refugee to Olympian – My Story of Rescue, hope, and Triumph by Yusra Mardini
When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized her boat’s engine shut down as she was traveling from Syria to Greece with other refugees, there was no hesitation: she dove into the water, grabbed the boat’s rope with one hand, and began inching the boat towards the distant shore. This bold act of bravery saved the lives of a boatload of refugees heading to Turkey from Syria. After her arrival in Greece, Mardini, focused and undeterred, worked toward a lifelong goal: to compete in the Olympics. She succeeded, and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro.
“This unforgettable memoir shines a spotlight on the refugee experience and the role sports can play in giving a voice to those affected by conflict throughout the world.” —Booklist, starred review
I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: Star Wars and the Triumph of Geek Culture by A.D. Jameson
In I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING, A. D. Jameson takes geeks and non-geeks alike on a surprising and insightful journey through the science fiction, fantasy, and superhero franchises that now dominate pop culture. Walking us through the rise of geekdom from its underground origins to the top of the box office and bestseller lists, Jameson takes in franchises like The Lord of the Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy, Harry Potter, Star Trek, and, in particular, Star Wars—as well as phenomena like fan fiction, cosplay, and YouTube parodies.
“A thoroughly engaging and enjoyable look at the evolution of geek culture over the past four decades.” —Booklist
TWO SISTERS: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad by Åsne Seierstad
TWO SISTERS, by the international bestselling author Åsne Seierstad, tells the unforgettable story of a family divided by faith. Sadiq and Sara, Somali immigrants raising a family in Norway, one day discover that their teenage daughters, Leila and Ayan, have vanished—and are en route to Syria to aid the Islamic State. Seierstad’s riveting account traces the sisters’ journey from secular, social democratic Norway to the front lines of the war in Syria, and follows Sadiq’s harrowing attempt to find them.
“As extreme as their decision was, this incremental retelling of their conversion reveals just how perniciously a powerful doctrine can take over young lives.” —Booklist
DEMI-GODS: A Novel by Eliza Robertson
It is 1950, and nine-year-old Willa’s sheltered childhood is about to come to an end when her two new stepbrothers arrive at her family’s summer home in British Columbia. As Willa’s older sister pairs off with the older of these boys, Willa finds herself alone in the off-kilter company of the younger, Patrick. When, one afternoon, Patrick lures Willa into a dilapidated rowboat, Willa embarks upon an increasingly damaging relationship with Patrick, one that will forever reconfigure her understanding of herself.
“Robertson’s deliciously enigmatic style is the perfect analogue to Willa’s absorbing yet deeply haunting journey of self-discovery.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
THE GIFT OF OUR WOUNDS: A Sikj and a former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate by Arno Michaelis & Pardeep Singh Kaleka
The powerful story of a friendship between two men—one Sikh and one skinhead—that resulted in an outpouring of love and a mission to fight against hate. After the Oak Creek tragedy, Arno and Pardeep worked together to start an organization called Serve 2 Unite, which works with students to create inclusive, compassionate and nonviolent climates in their schools and communities. Their story is one of triumph of love over hate, and of two men who breached a great divide to find compassion and forgiveness.
” . . . both Kaleka’s chronicling of the day of the shooting and Michaelis’ frank recounting of his former attitudes and acts make for heartbreaking reading, but their work together is inspiring and gives readers hope that the next generation can do much to heal America’s great divide.” —Booklist, starred review