Required Friday Reading (8/10/18)

wcag heading

wcag heading

wcag heading

It’s important, now more than ever, to continue reading, reflecting, and engaging in open dialogue about the issues facing us all as a nation. Here are our picks to help you do just that:

A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival by Melissa Fleming

2018 Alex Award Winner

2018 ALA Amelia Bloomer List

“This poignant tale of survival and loss gives immediacy to the plight of Syrian refugees. Fleming’s skillful writing brings new vividness to Doaa Al Zamel’s dramatic story. This book amply demonstrates why Al Zamel has since become a symbol of hope for other refugees. Fleming should be congratulated for bringing [this] inspiring and illuminating story to the page.” — Publishers Weekly

BUTTERFLY: From Refugee to Olympian – My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph by Yusra Mardini

BUTTERFLY is a powerful story of survival, inspiration, and hope with a resounding message: no one chooses to be a refugee; rather, horrific circumstances force ordinary people to take extraordinary measures to save themselves. 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… Teens who enjoyed I AM MALALA will find another heroine in this inspirational memoir of a Syrian swimmer who became an advocate for refugees.” Booklist, starred review

CITY OF THORNS: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year

“[A] remarkable book…Like Dadaab itself, the story has no conclusion. It is a portrait, beautifully and movingly painted. And it is more than that. At a time when newspapers are filled with daily images of refugees arriving in boats on Europe’s shores, when politicians and governments grapple with solutions to migration and erect ever larger walls and fences, it is an important reminder that a vast majority of the world’s refugees never get as far as a boat or a border of the developed world.” — Caroline Moorehead, The New York Times Book Review

IN THE COUNTRY WE LOVE: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

“Guerrero relates her struggle to hold her life together, get through high school and college, and find her feet in the world—challenges that will resonate with many readers… [She] writes with humor and heartbreaking honesty. Offering readers the story she needed to hear as a child, Guerrero shines a light on this country’s flawed immigration system, eloquently calling for reform without diminishing her appreciation for the opportunities US citizenship has afforded her. A timely and enlightening read.” — Booklist

SPARE PARTS: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream by Joshua Davis

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.” — Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.” — Publishers Weekly

ONE PERSON, NO VOTE: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson

“This whiplash-inducing chronicle of how a nation that just a few short years ago elected its first black president now finds itself in the throes of a deceitful and craven effort to rip this most essential of American rights from millions of its citizens.” — Booklist, starred review

TEARS WE CANNOT STOP: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

New York Times Bestseller

“One of the most frank and searing discussions on race … a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin’s THE FIRE NEXT TIME and King’s WHY WE CAN’T WAIT.” — The New York Times Book Review

CITIZEN: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry

Winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry

Finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism

Winner of the 2015 PEN Open Book Award

Winner of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry

“Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of possibly being racist ourselves.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Part protest lyric, part art book, CITIZEN is a dazzling expression of the painful double consciousness of black life in America.” — The Washington Post

“Rankine defies genre and writes honestly and relentlessly about being black in modern America. This book is necessary in every sense of the word.” — Roxane Gay

WE GON’ BE ALRIGHT: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

“When absorbed individually, the author’s incisive essays will educate and inform readers. Collectively, Chang creates a chain-linked manifesto arguing for an end to racially charged violence and discrimination and urging global open-mindedness to the struggle of the oppressed… A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” — Kirkus, starred review

WHITE RAGE: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner

New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year

A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016

“[WHITE RAGE] is an extraordinarily timely and urgent call to confront the legacy of structural racism bequeathed by white anger and resentment, and to show its continuing threat to the promise of American democracy.” — Editor’s Choice, New York Times Book Review

WHAT TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

New York Times Bestseller

“Dyson delivers a piercing and wide-ranging analysis of American race relations. …a poignant take on still-festering racial tensions in the United States.” — Publishers Weekly

“A moving ode to the potentiality of American social progress.” — Booklist, starred review

Download the reading group guide for WHAT TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE.

ELOQUENT RAGE: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper

“An ambitious, electrifying memoir. Recommended for readers seeking contemporary social commentary that’s unrelenting yet humorous.”— Library Journal, starred review

“Sharp and always humane, Cooper’s book suggests important ways in which feminism needs to evolve for the betterment not just of black women, but society as a whole. A timely and provocative book that shows ‘what you build is infinitely more important than what you tear down.’” — Kirkus Reviews

WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

New York Times Bestseller

“This searing, timely look into a contemporary movement from one of its crucial leading voices belongs in all collections.” — Library Journal, starred review

“An eye-opening and eloquent coming-of-age story from one of the leaders in the new generation of social activists.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“With great candor about her complex personal life, Khan-Cullors has created a memoir as compelling as a page-turning novel.” — Booklist, starred review

NASTY WOMEN: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America, edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay

“A searing and urgent collection….The writers are emotionally generous as they meditate on this pivotal moment in American history. The 2016 election marked a deeply personal shift in the tides of hope for so many. This book invites readers to converse, comfort, and hold one another accountable in the hope of igniting radical, intersectional change.” — Booklist, starred review

HOW I RESIST: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, edited by Maureen Johnson

“Candor and passion radiate from the 30 voices raised in this trenchant and timely compendium of interviews, essays, reflections, illustrations, and poems.” — Publishers Weekly

“[Maureen Johnson] has done an exceptional job calling on different voices to share their wisdom and thoughts on making a difference.” — School Library Journal

“This offers plenty of access points for teens looking for advice, catharsis, and/or motivation.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction

Long-listed for the National Book Award

Finalist, Current Interest Category, Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2017

“Superb and shattering… ‘How did a majority ­black jurisdiction end up incarcerating so many of its own?’ This is the exceptionally delicate question that [Forman] tries to answer, with exemplary nuance, over the course of his book. His approach is compassionate…The effect, for the reader, is devastating.” — Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

“Timely… A masterly account of how a generation of black elected officials wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation’s capital… A big deal and a major breakthrough… Forman’s novel claim is this: What most explains the punitive turn in black America is not a repudiation of civil rights activism, as some have argued, but an embrace of it…” — Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The New York Times Book Review

THE SUN DOES SHINE: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

Oprah’s Book Club Summer 2018 Selection

New York Times Bestseller

“No one I have represented has inspired me more than Anthony Ray Hinton and I believe his compelling and unique story will similarly inspire our nation and readers all over the world.” — Bryan Stevenson, New York Times Bestselling Author, JUST MERCY

“A troubling, moving, and ultimately exalting journey through the decades Hinton lived under the threat of death while an unjust system that refused to acknowledge mistakes failed him repeatedly.” — Booklist, starred review

“Intense… Hinton’s life is one of inspiration, which he wonderfully relays here in bitingly honest prose.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review


If you are interested in receiving complimentary copies of any of the above mentioned titles for consideration for your city-wide reads program, please e-mail with your full name, mailing address, the name of your program, and your selections.
Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.