For patrons searching for books on race and justice, our librarians have brought together a wide range of social justice resources that we hope you’ll find helpful in these uncertain times. Whether you’re discussing current events unfolding with your children, your teens, one another, or you’re merely learning for yourself (and we are always learning and growing) the following articles, podcasts, films, and more are here for you to use. Books are linked to their ebooks online, where you may check them out and reserve them.
All titles are linked, even if they are not highlighted in red.
Books for Children (Fiction):
Blended by Sharon M. Draper (Libby ebook)
- From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (Hoopla ebook)
- A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Marie Ramee (Libby ebook)
- It All Comes Down to This by Karen English (Hoopla ebook)
- My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera (Hoopla ebook)
- New Kid by Jerry Craft (Hoopla ebook) (Hoopla audio)
- One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Hoopla ebook)
- The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (Hoopla audiobook)
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga (Hoopla ebook)
Books for Children (Facts):
- Appreciating Diversity by Rita Santos (Hoopla ebook)
- Are You Being Racially Profiled by Alexandra Hanson-Harding (Hoopla ebook)
- Race in America series by various authors (Hoopla ebook)
A Ride to Remember by Sharon Langley (Hoopla ebook)
Rise Up! The Art of Protest by Jo Rippon (Hoopla ebook)
Standing Up to Hate Speech by Alison Morretta (Hoopla ebook)
- Understanding Identity by Rita Santos (Hoopla ebook)
What’s Racism by Amy B. Rogers (Hoopla ebook)
Resources for White Parents to Raise Anti-Racist Children:
- The Conscious Kid: follow them on Instagram
Books for Teens (Fiction Ebooks):
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
- Black Boy, White School by Brian F.Walker
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
- Electric Arches by Eve Ewing
- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
- I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal & Kimberly Jones
- Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
- Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
- When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur
Books for Teens (Facts – Ebooks)
- Discovering Wes Moore by Wes Moore
- A Few Drops of Red: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Clare Hartfield
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
- In The Shadow of Liberty by Kenneth C. Davis
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- March: Book One by Jon Lewis , Andrew Aydin and Illustrated by Nate Powell
- Obviously, Stories from My Timeline by Akilah Hughes
- The Self-Love Revolution by Virgie Tovar
- Stamped; Racism, Anti-Racism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X.Kendi
- Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
- We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
- White Privilege by M.T. Blakemore
Books for Teens (Fiction eAudiobooks)
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
- A Big Dose of Lucky by Marthe Jocelyn
- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Books for Teens (Facts – eAudiobooks)
- Because They Marched by Russel Freedman
- Girls Resist! by Kaelyn Rich
- How I Resist edited by Maureen Johnson
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Malcom X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers
- The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Shenkin
- Stolen Justice by Lawrence Goldstone
- Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
Books for Adults (Fiction):
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (ebook, other ebook edition, audio)
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (ebook)
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (ebook, audio, Hoopla)
Books for Adult (Facts):
- An African American and Latinx History of the United States, by Paul Ortiz (ebook, audio)
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper (audio, ebook)
- Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask, by Anton Treuer (Hoopla ebook, Hoopla audio)
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (ebook, audio)
- Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equity in Evanston by Mary Barr (ebook)
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon (ebook)
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (ebook, audio)
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (ebook, audio)
- An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (ebook, YA ebook, audio, Hoopla audio)
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (ebook, audio, YA ebook, YA audio)
- Lies my Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen (ebook, other ebook edition, YA ebook, Hoopla ebook, other Hoopla ebook edition)
- The Making of Asian America, by Erika Lee (ebook, audio, Hoopla audio)
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (ebook, audio, Hoopla)
- Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation, by Derald Wing Sue (ebook)
- A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn (ebook, other ebook edition, audio, other audio edition, Hoopla)
- Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, Fifth Edition, by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (Hoopla audio)
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock (Hoopla audio)
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde (ebook, audio, Hoopla audio)
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (ebook, audio, Hoopla audio)
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (ebook)
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson (Hoopla audio)
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD (ebook, audio)
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: and Other Conversations about Race, by Dr. Beverly Tatum (ebook)
Articles to Read:
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- An Antiracist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi | The New York Times (May 29, 2019)
- Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement (Mentoring a New Generation of Activists
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011)
- The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine
- The Combahee River Collective Statement
- “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019)
- NAACP’s Criminal Justice Fact Sheet.
- The National Museum of the American Indian Education Office. Native Knowledge 360 Framework for Essential Understandings about American Indians.
- The Sentencing Project, Report to the United Nations on Racial Disparities in the U.S. Criminal Justice System, April 19, 2018
- Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD
- Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction, developed by the National Congress of American Indians
- ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
Films and Series to Watch on Kanopy
- America After Ferguson
- Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Oregon
- Copwatch: An Organization Dedicated to Filming the Police
- Every Mother’s Son: Policing and Race in America
- I Am Not Your Negro
- Let the Fire Burn: Tragedy in Philadelphia
- Peace Officer: The Militarized State of American Police
- Policing the Police
- Profiled: The Mothers of Murdered Black and Latino Youth
- P.S. I Can’t Breathe: Black Lives Matter
- When Justice Isn’t Just: Unarmed Police Incidents
Additionally, Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein compiled the following resources in May 2020. Consider this a helpful list of links to follow-up on as well:
Videos to Watch:
- Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers (50:48)
- “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” | Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
Podcasts to Subscribe To:
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
Organizations to Follow on Social Media:
- Antiracism Center: Twitter
- Audre Lorde Project: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Black Women’s Blueprint: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Conscious Kid: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Families Belong Together: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- MPowerChange: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Muslim Girl: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- National Domestic Workers Alliance: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- RAICES: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- SisterSong: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
More Anti-Racism Resources to Check Out:
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Anti-Racism Project
- Jenna Arnold’s resources (books and people to follow)
- Rachel Ricketts’ anti-racism resources
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide by Tatiana Mac
- Showing Up For Racial Justice’s educational toolkits
- “Why is this happening?” — an introduction to police brutality from 100 Year Hoodie
- Zinn Education Project’s teaching materials
I don’t like to brag, but honestly if you want to find THE best recommended list of books for kids, you needn’t look any further than Evanston Public Library. Oh, Chicago has their list, and New York’s is fine, but I daresay you will never find the level of love and dedication as is evident on ours. For 10 months of the year, EPL employees use their free time to read as many children’s books as possible. The sheer scale of it would blow your mind. Then, in October, we whittle them down to a mere 101 so that you, oh seekers of great gift books for children, will have access to the best of the best of the best.
The categories here are:
Folktales and Fairy Tales
Easy and Chapter Books
Comics and Graphic Novels
You can download a truly beautiful PDF of the list here, if you like.
And now, without further ado . . . the list!
B is for Baby by Atinuke, ill. Angela Brooksbank.
Brother loads a Basket of Bananas onto his Bicycle but he doesn’t notice that Baby comes too. A sweet celebration of the letter “B” for the younger readers set in Nigeria today. Call Number: JPicture Atinuke
Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together by Andrea Tsurumi.
Crab bakes cakes. Crab bakes lots of cakes. But what can crab do when tragedy strikes? This environmental tale provides sound advice in the face of disaster. Call Number: JPicture Tsuru.A
The Full House and the Empty House by LK James.
Two best friends dance and appreciate their differences in this strange, kind, dreamlike little book. Call Number: JPicture James.L
The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette, ill. Julie Flett.
A little girl in red gets lost in the woods. Think you’ve heard this story before? Think again. A Métis take on a European fairy tale. Call Number: JPicture Verme.K
Going Down Home With Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, ill. Daniel Minter.
When Lil Alan’s family travels “down home” to Granny’s home in the country, what will he do to pay tribute to his family? Rendered in meticulous acrylics, Lyons celebrates the close ties of a modern black family. Call Number: JPicture Lyons.K
The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, ill. Vanessa Brantley-Newton.
Witty, reassuring language and warm art celebrate a boy’s first day of kindergarten. A book that makes readers feel like royalty. Call Number: JPicture Barne.D
Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour, ill. Daniel Egnéus.
When Lubna arrived off the boat, she found Pebble. Pebble listens when she talks about the war and what she lost. But when it’s time to leave, will Lubna find someone else who needs Pebble more? Call Number: JPicture Meddo.W
Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell, ill. Ana Ramírez González.
Elba drags a block behind her wherever she goes. Norris dances. But when he’s with Elba, Norris will help carry her block, and give her space to be sad. A beautiful glimpse of the buoying power of friends. Call Number: JPicture Agell.C
My Footprints by Bao Phi, ill. Basia Tran.
Thuy chants “My footprints” when kids tease her for being different. But as her moms point out, you don’t have to be alone when things get tough. Celebrates the “unexpected combination of beautiful things”. Call Number: JPicture Phi.B
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, ill. Zeke Peña.
When Papi comes home from work he may be tired, but he still has enough energy to take his girl for a ride on his moto. A simple ride can feel like an adventure, in this loving paean to daddies everywhere. Call Number: JPicture Quint.I
Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe.
“The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her a drum.” So begins this wild, raucous, slightly twisted, but always interesting, picture book infused with deep pulsating colors. Call Number: JPicture Forsy.M
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali, ill. Hatem Aly.
Faizah greatly admires her older sister Asiyah’s bravery when she wears her “first-day hijab” to school and then stands strong in the face of bullying. Call Number: JPicture Muham.I
Saturday by Oge Mora.
A mother and daughter try to have a perfect Saturday but a series of mishaps and disappointments thwart their plans. Call Number: JPicture Mora.O
Small in the City by Sydney Smith.
It’s hard to be small in the city. Especially on a cold wintry day when you search for something–or someone– gone missing. Evocative illustrations cast a spell in this haunting masterpiece. Call Number: JPicture Smith.S
A Stone Sat Still by Brenden Wenzel.
A stone “was as it was where it was in the world.” And to every creature, it means something different. A quiet, utterly beautiful ode to nature. Call Number: JPicture Wenze.B
Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home by Guojing.
A wordless tale of a woman, a dog, and what it takes to trust someone at last. Call Number: JPicture Guoji
Truman by Jean Reidy ill. Lucy Ruth Cummins.
Peaceful and pensive, tiny turtle Truman loves his owner Sarah. But when Sarah leaves him one day on the number 11 bus, he summons all his bravery to trek out and find her again. Undeniably sweet. Call Number: JPicture Reidy.J
¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market! by Raúl the Third, colors by Elaine Bay.
Little Lobo heads to a very busy town to trade some goods and see the sights. Inventive and wildly funny illustrations packed with amusing details and Spanish words that invite further exploration. Call Number: JPicture Raul
The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach.
Hilarity ensues when a frantic caterpillar learns that the metamorphosis process takes TWO WHOLE WEEKS! Will this jittery critter learn to relax? Call Number: JPicture Burac.R
When Aidan Became A Brother by Kyle Lukoff, ill. Kaylani Juanita.
Now a new baby is on the way and Aidan wants everything to be perfect for the baby from the start. A smart trans child narrative replete with gorgeous illustrations. Call Number: JPicture Lukof.K
Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea, ill. Zachariah Ohora.
Bear goes on the offensive to prove his wet pants are not his fault. Not a potty book, this tale shows us that it’s okay to acknowledge our mistakes. Call Number: JPicture Shea.B
Folktales and Fairy Tales
The Clever Tailor by Srividhya Venkat, ill. Nayantara Surendranath.
When Rupa Ram gets a beautiful saafa at a wedding he knows just what to do with the fabric. A classic folktale made new again, just like Rupa Ram’s saafa. Call Number: JPicture Venka.S
Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell by Blaise Hemingway and Jesse Reffsin, ill. Chris Sasaki and Jeff Turley.
There are only thirteen true ghost stories in the world. Are you brave enough to read them all? Beware, you might find the last one involves YOU! Call Number: 83 Ghost
Good Night Wind by Linda Elovitz Marshall, ill. Maëlle Doliveux.
The Winter Wind goes looking for a place to rest, but everywhere it goes people shut it out! Only a clever girl and her brother can give it precisely what it needs. Beautiful art complements a tale inspired by a Yiddish folktale. Call Number: JPicture Marsh.E
Lion and Mouse by Jairo Buitrago, ill. Rafael Yockteng, translated by Elisa Amado.
The old story of the mouse that saved a lion with a twist. Sometimes the reasons we help people turn from gratitude to genuine friendship. Call Number: JPicture Buitr.J
Riding a Donkey Backwards: Wise and Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin, retold by Sean Taylor and the Khayaal Theatre, ill. Shirin Adl.
Trickster or fool? Twenty-one classic tales from Muslim cultures follow the adventures of Mulla Nasruddin, illustrated with great flair and humor. Call Number: x398.22 Taylo.S
Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women, retold by Kate Forsyth, ill. Lorena Carrington.
Seven ancient fairytales showcase strong girls and women that get themselves out of trouble with brains and bravery. Evocative photographed silhouettes heighten each story’s excitement and foreboding. Call Number: 8 Forsy.K
Easy and Early Chapter Books
Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories by Max Brallier, ill. Letizia Rubegni.
Ready for some ghoulish chills? Let Mr. Shivers tell you five stories that are bound to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Call Number: JChapter Brall.M
The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer, ill. P.J. Lynch.
To help heal an abused puppy, a boy is told to teach it to bark. But how can you convince someone to trust you when the world has let them down? Call Number: JChapter Colfe.E
Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina.
You think you have problems? Look at what Juana’s going through! Not only is her mom marrying again, but the whole family is now going to move to a new casa in Bogotá. What’s a kid to do? Call Number: JChapter Medin.J
Let’s Have a Sleepover! by Norm Feuti.
Harry’s just thrilled to be staying the night at his best friend’s house. But when Hedgehog reveals that they’ll be camping in the backyard, things don’t seem so great anymore. Call Number: JEasy Feuti.N
Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T. Smith.
Mr. Penguin and his spider partner Colin have always dreamed of being real honest-to-goodness adventurers. So when Boudicca Bones from the Museum of Extraordinary Objects asks them to find a secret treasure, you know this intrepid duo will be on the case! Call Number: J Smith.A
Poof! A Bot! (Adventures of Zip) by David Milgrim.
Zip thinks he can create a bot who will wait on him. Hilarity ensues for the earliest of readers. Call Number: JEasy Milgri.D
Sasha and Puck and the Potion of Luck (The Elixer Fixers) by Daniel Nayero, ill. Janneliese Mak.
Sasha’s in a real pickle. Her dad keeps selling fake luck potions, leaving her to clean up the mess. Can she help a local chocolatier with her love life or will Sasha’s father be exposed? Call Number: JChapter Nayer.D
Save the Cake! by Molly Coxe.
Kate and Nate have baked a cake for Grandpa Jake. Can they keep it safe? Highlighting the long “a” sound, the trials and tribulations of these two snails will keep readers on their toes. Call Number: JBegin Coxe.M
Smell My Foot by Cece Bell.
Chick and Brain are friends, and Chick insists on proper manners. So what happens when someone polite thinks you smell delicious? Another easy reader gut-buster from a Newbery Honor winner. Call Number: JEasy Bell.C
Clackety Track: Poems About Trains by Skila Brown, ill. Jamey Christoph.
From sleeper cars to bullet trains, pantographs to locomotive snowplows, this little work of train poetry goes above and beyond the call of duty. Choo-choo-choose this one. Call Number: 6 Brown.S
Predator and Prey: Conversation in Verse by Susannah Buhrman-Deever, ill. Bert Kitchen.
Not your usual predators. Not your usual prey. Natural selection like you’ve never seen it before, with killer poetry (literally) to match. Call Number: 53 Buhrm.S
Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield, ill. Ehsan Abdollahi.
A child’s new pet dog loves thinking up and reciting poems of his own creation. It’s a puppy P.O.V.! Call Number: x811 Green.E
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, ill. Kadir Nelson.
Sumptuous portraits of great black heroes illustrate a poem celebrating the brave, worthy, audacious, and undefeated. Call Number: x811 Alexa.K
The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives by Eloise Greenfield, ill. Daniel Minter.
“They caught the babies, / and catch them still, / welcome them into the world, / for loving.” A lushly illustrated epic ode to black midwives of the past and the present. Call Number: 20089 Green.E
Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord.
Emma is starting public school for the first time as a rising fifth-grader when her father rescues a trapped rabbit. Now she must learn to make a real friend while deciding whether or not to keep the bunny. Call Number: J Lord.C
The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy.
Gay Indian-American seventh grader Rahul Kapoor feels like an outsider in his small Indiana town. So what is he best at (Football? Acting? Math?)? A great and hopeful It Gets Better story. Call Number: J Panch.M
Captain Rosalie by Timothée de Fombelle, ill. Isabelle Arsenault, translated by Sam Gordon.
Rosalie is on a secret mission. While her father serves in the war, she declares herself a captain and sets about completing the secret operations that will bring her closer to a terrible truth. Call Number: J Fombe.T
Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy.
Plus-size Sweet Pea faces some major changes in her life. When the advice columnist next door leaves town, Sweet Pea starts answering some of her private letters. What could go wrong? Call Number: J Murph.J
Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya.
12-yr-old neurodiverse Cuban-American Emilia Rosa faces down historical prejudice and contemporary challenges alongside her family in this smartly written story. Call Number: J Carta.P
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée.
Shayla navigates her first year of junior high, struggling with friends, joining the track team, and becoming a Black Lives Matter activist fighting against racial injustice. Call Number: J Ramee.L
I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day.
Edie, a Suquamis/Duwamish girl, attempts to solve a mystery involving her identity and her family’s history in this compelling page turner. Warm, poignant, heartbreaking, unforgettable. Call Number: J Day.C
Just Jaime by Terri Libenson.
What do you do when your best friends dump you? Jaime used to be the school “gossip girl” but now her bestie Maya thinks she’s babyish. A funny graphic novel hybrid about finding your people. Call Number: JGraphic Liben.T
The Line Tender by Kate Allen.
How do you mourn something that’s lost forever while moving ahead? A stunning novel, delicate and brutal by turns. Call Number: J Allen.K
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, ill. Alexander Nabaum.
School’s out and ten different stories are all happening at the same time. These kids are planning an escape, a con, a show, a romance, an apology, and more on just an ordinary day. Call Number: J Reyno.J
Max and the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce.
One minute you’re tooling around the country with your Uncle Budrick, the troubadour. Next, Budrick’s been kidnapped by the evil King Gastley, and it’s up to you and a band of ragtag adventurers to overturn the monarchy. Call Number: J Peirc.L
Maximillian Fly by Angie Sage.
Max is the kind of sweet fellow who would go out of his way to rescue two desperate kids. Too bad he’s (A) A human/cockroach hybrid and (B) Living in a dystopian world held in the grip of some serious baddies. Call Number: J Sage.A
The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake.
After a heart transplant saves her life, Sunny decides to kiss a boy. But is it boys she likes? A creative, funny and insightful work on getting to know yourself. Call Number: J Blake.A
More to the Story by Hena Khan.
Little Women gets a 21st century Pakistani-American update that retains the original’s heart. Call Number: J Khan.H
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai.
Dropped into a new country with his mom (who forbids him to touch the stove) and annoying little brother, Yanghao, Jingwen’s going to have to be sneaky if he wants to get some baking done. After all, it’s how he remembers his dad best. Call Number: J Lai.R
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata.
Disillusioned after WWII by their experience in America’s internment camps, Hanako and her parents move to Hiroshima, a place she has never seen. Features emotionally complex storytelling. Call Number: J Kadoh.C
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart.
For five years Coyote has lived with her father Rodeo on a school bus. Now Coyote wants to go home, but that means getting her dad to face a painful past. A powerful, funny heartbreaker of a novel. Call Number: J Gemei.D
Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker, ill. Junyi Wu.
These tales of horror are guaranteed to turn your tails white and your whiskers gray in fear. You have been warned. Call Number: J Heidi.C
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson.
When Amara travels to her dad’s childhood home in Harlem to meet her estranged grandfather, she finds herself trying to solve a family mystery. Why hasn’t her father talked to her grandfather for 12 years? Call Number: J Watso.R
Stay by Bobbie Pyron.
Chapters alternate between the story of a newly homeless girl, and a young dog belonging to a fellow woman in the shelter. A challenging, ultimately uplifting story. Call Number: J Pyron.B
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia.
Thrown into a world where African-American folk heroes mix and mingle with West African gods, it’s up to seventh grader Tristan to use his newfound powers to heal a dying world. Call Number: J Mbali.K
The Usual Suspects by Maurice Broaddus.
When a gun is found near his school, Thelonius and his pals become instant suspects. Thelonius knows how this story could play out, which means he needs to do some investigating of his own. Call Number: J Broad.M
We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey.
How do you convince aliens that the human race (now refugees from a destroyed earth) isn’t hopelessly violent? It’s up to Lan to use humor and music to show the creatures of Choom how vital humans can be . . . if they don’t get killed first, of course. Call Number: J Rodke.G
Wildfire: When Trees Explode by Rodman Philbrick.
Fans of the I Survived series, or survival stories like Hatchet, will find this lean page-turner, about a boy and a girl trying to outrace a raging forest fire, thrilling. Call Number: J Philb.R
Comics and Graphic Novels
Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home by Scott Morse.
The Bad News Bears meets Monster Squad. When Gina puts a spell on her twin Stacy’s baseball glove the end result is a goofy ball chasing zombie that turns out to be the best practice her team’s ever had. Call Number: JGraphic Morse.S
Guts by Raina Telgemeier.
What started as just an upset stomach snowballs into something out of Raina’s control in this personal story about the connection between the mind and body, and how everyone has something going on in their lives. Call Number: JGraphic Telge.R
Lupin Leaps In: A Breaking Cat News Adventure by Georgia Dunn.
This just in! Elvis, Lupin, and Puck are three cats bringing you the latest in Cat News. Whether it’s spiders, houseplants, a new baby, or the cats upstairs (what are they DOING up there?) these intrepid reporters are here to give YOU the story. Call Number: JGraphic Dunn.G
New Kid by Jerry Craft.
Packed with biting satirical humor and inventive imagery, this thought-provoking comic stars 7th grade budding cartoonist Jordan Banks who becomes the “new kid” at a posh private school where he is one of the few students of color attending. Call Number: JGraphic Craft.J
Nico Bravo and the Hound of Hades by Mike Cavallaro.
Where do gods get their goods? From Nico Bravo, of course! And when a headstrong ancestor of Beowulf comes in looking for a sword to kill off Cerberus, Nico has to set off to stop her before she causes a zombie apocalypse. Call Number: JGraphic Caval.M
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner.
Some kids might be freaked out if they found out that they were a witch. Not Moth! She can’t wait to use her new powers, but first she’ll have to tackle a tricky past that refuses to let her family go. Call Number: JGraphic Stein.E
Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis.
For Margaret, growing up on an island of nuns has been the only life she’s ever known. So when dispossessed ruler Eleanor (dethroned by her own sister) comes to stay, the kid finds herself wrapped up in a tangle of secrets, lies, and unexpected truths. Call Number: JGraphic Mecon.D
Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló.
Meet the superheroes destined to protect their Cuban-American neighborhood (and, by extension, the world). Armed with magic hoodies, this sister and brother pair are ready to take on monsters, ghosts, robots, you name it! Call Number: JGraphic Rosel.J
Stargazing by Jen Wang.
Christine feels like she has to do everything absolutely perfectly all the time. Moon is laid back, easy to know, and fun. Unalike in many ways, these two figure out how to be the friend the other one needs. Call Number: JGraphic Wang.J
This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews.
Where do the paper lanterns tossed into the river during the Autumn Equinox Festival go? Two boys, Ben and Nathaniel, follow them, only to find a world of talking bears, magic, tiny suns, and more in this dreamy, epic adventure. Call Number: JGraphic Andre.R
White Bird written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio.
A Jewish girl growing up in France during WWII, survives the face of Nazi cruelty in this gripping, powerful story. Call Number: JGraphic Palac.R
The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow, ill. Steven Salerno.
What’s your favorite color? For Edwin Binney, every color was his favorite. Discover how crayons became as ubiquitous and beautiful as they are today. Call Number: 23 Biebo.N
Firefighters’ Handbook by Meghan McCarthy.
So you want to be a firefighter? Well strap in and hold tight, kids! With this deep dive you’ll learn about everything from how to pass the CPAT to the difference between a fire truck and a fire engine, and more! Call Number: 925 Mccar.M
Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara Levine, ill. Masha D’Yans.
No color choice is random. A purple prickly pear gives a cantankerous rundown of the job of each color when a flower wears it and how it uses hues to attract different kinds of critters. Call Number: 13 Levin.S
Follow Your Stuff: Who Makes It, Where Does It Come From, How Does It Get to You? by Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka.
Who makes the things you buy and why should you even care? With meticulous attention, Sylvester and Hlinka follow the life cycle of the t-shirts, medicines, books, cell phones, and glasses you buy. Prepare to become a responsible global citizen! Call Number: x306.3 Sylve.K
Hello, Crochet Friends! by Jonah Larson with Jennifer Larson.
Adopted from Ethiopia, Jonah had a hard time concentrating in school. So when his 5th grade teacher suggested he bring in his calming crochet work it led to an amazing transformation. The true tale of the ultimate crafting fidget spinner. Call Number: 434 Larso.J
Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis.
A masterful display of water in it all its myriad forms. Perfect for both the youngest of readers and older kids, behold the mighty the water cycle! Call Number: 7 Porti.A
It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear, ill. Julie Morstad.
A stunning encapsulation of the Japanese-American woman who fought racism, sexism, and more through the power of her children’s book art. Call Number: xBiog Fujik.G Macle.K
Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang ill. Kana Urbanowicz.
After the devastation of WWII, Momofuku Ando became obsessed with the notion of creating cheap, delicious, nutritious food for the poor. The birth of ramen as we know and love it today! Call Number: 822 Wang.A
Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch, ill. Teresa Martínez.
What do you do when you can see a looming disaster that could wipe out all life on Earth and nobody will listen to you? A stellar bio of Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina, who discovered the dangers of CFCs. Call Number: xBiog Molin.M Rusch.E
Monument Maker: Daniel Chester French and the Lincoln Memorial by Linda Booth Sweeney, ill. Shawn Fields.
“A sculptor is nine-tenths mechanic, and one-tenth poet.” How did a small town mechanic, builder, inventor, and designer get to create the statue of Lincoln that sits in the Lincoln Memorial? Learn the story here. Call Number: xBiog Frenc.D Sween.L
Mummies Exposed! by Kerrie Logan Hollihan.
From bog bodies exhumed in Ireland to mummies found in the Aztec mountains, this globe-trotting account explores the startling discoveries of mummified bodies and how studying them unlocks mysteries about the past. Call Number: 3 Holli.K
Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul, ill. Jason Chin.
As a little girl prepares for the new baby coming, readers get to see every trimester, embryo, and stage of growth inside the mommy. A wonderful introduction to life as we know it. Call Number: x612.6 Paul.M
A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein, ill. Jerry Pinkney.
King’s words at the 1963 March on Washington are legendary now, but creating them was no easy task. In this true story, kids learn about the collaboration and last minute inspiration that led to the “I Have a Dream” speech we know today. Call Number: xBiog King.M Witte.B
Queer Heroes: Meet 52 LGBTQ Heroes from Past & Present by Arabelle Sicardi, ill. Sarah Tanat-Jones.
From Sappho to Freddie Mercury, from Alvin Ailey to Alan Turing, meet the queer pioneers from long ago and those still fighting the good fight today. A collected biography featuring the truly courageous. Call Number: 76 Sicar.A
Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus, ill. Tonya Engel.
Small and vulnerable, young Maya moved from place to place with her brother Bailey, enduring abuse and ultimately rising above it all to become a national treasure. Sumptuous art and brave writing tell her story with honesty and love. Call Number: xBiog Angel.M Heged.B
Rocket to the Moon! by Don Brown.
Going to the moon? Now that’s a big idea. So how the heck did we get there? From “the rockets red glare” to “one giant leap” kids get a whirlwind breakdown of the history of flight itself. Call Number: JGraphic Brown.D
The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford, ill. Frank Morrison.
Vibrant illustrations enhance this poetic tribute to rap and hip-hop and the cultural forces that helped this exciting form of music develop and take shape. Call Number: x782.421549 Weath.C
Running with Wolves by Jim and Jamie Dutcher.
In the 90s, the Dutchers lived with the Sawtooth wolf pack and learned surprising things about how the wolves interact and play with each other. This account allows readers to experience the dangers and joys of howling along with the wolves. Call Number: x599.773 Dutch.J
Skulls! by Blair Thornburgh, ill. Scott Campbell.
“Skulls are safe and snug, like a car seat for your brain.” Join one little girl as she tells you all about your incredible, amazing, fantastic, irrepressible skull. Call Number: 8 Thorn.B
Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders, ill. Jamey Christoph.
A testament and history of America’s first major protest for LGBTQ+ rights and equality, this eloquent look at the Stonewall protest is the civil rights story every child needs to hear. Call Number: x323 Sande.R
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy.
This powerful account, a memoir-in-verse, puts readers in the shoes of Jo Ann Allen, one of the 12 African-American students who integrated her high school in Clinton, TN in 1956 and maintained her hopeful spirit as the world around her exploded into racist violence. Call Number: 263 Boyce.J
Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” by Deborah Heiligman, ill. Lawrence Lee.
It is September 1940, and 100 children have been placed on the S.S. City of Benares, heading towards Canada and safety. The ship never makes its destination. Here is the tale of the survivors and the ones who never surfaced again. Call Number: x940.5429 Heili.D
Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins.
When the going gets tough, the tough wait, rest, and pause. Magnificent photography introduces dormancy to the youngest of readers. Call Number: x78 Atkin.M
What Is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel.
“A refugee is a person just like you and me.” Simple language and art make this complicated topic comprehensible to younger readers. Call Number: 9069 Grave.E
What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett, ill. Diana Sudyka.
In the 1840s Maria Mitchell was taught to “sweep the sky” using her father’s telescope. Being the first to spot a comet wasn’t in the plan. A marvelously wrought tale, gorgeously rendered, of an early woman scientist, illustrated by an Evanston artist! Call Number: xBiog Mitch.M Barre.H
Patricia Alm, Allison Arkin, Betsy Bird, Mariana Bojorquez, Hilda Gonzalez, Jessica Iverson, Katy Jacob, Hannah Johnson, Leigh Kennelly, Kerry Littel, Judith Mathews, Christina Mendez, Martha Meyer, Jennifer Wasilewski Mills, Olivia Mo, Bill Ohms, Paula Shapiro, Bridget Sweeney, Amy Louise Tripp, Brian Wilson, and Kristen Wood
Originating in the mid to late 1990s, Afrofuturism takes particular care to explore the intersection of African/African Diaspora culture with technology. And if you’re only learning about it now, you have one movie to thank for that: Black Panther. Since that movie came out the interest and attention to Afrofuturism has exploded. Naturally, that can mean only one thing – time to read!
For a lot of librarians, books with Afrofuturism elements in them have existed for a long time, but we often didn’t know what to call them. I’m a children’s librarian and back when I encountered Nancy Farmer’s 1994 novel The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm set in 2194 Zimbabwe, it was wholly new to me. Of course the biggest authors to make use of the genre are Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler, with newer writers joining them, like Nnedi Okorafor, N. K. Jemisin, and Rivers Solomon.
Interested in exploring these books? The time has never been better. Here’s a reading list to help you start. Remember, all of these titles are available at Evanston Public Library. Happy 4eading!
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany
- Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
- Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
- Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- Everfair by Nisi Shawl
- An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
- The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun
- Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
- The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
I have a toy. A fun toy. A toy that gives my little librarian heart a hop, skip, and a jump whenever I get to use it. The name of my toy? Collection HQ. It’s a program that allows me to see exactly how well the books in my library do or do not do in a given year. The best part is that the folks that created it (who are Scottish, oddly enough) keep updating it with cool new features. Here’s an example: I can see titles that are “Dead On Arrival”. What does that mean? It means that when a book comes in and doesn’t get checked out for 6 months (or is only checked out once) it is officially DOA. And now I can see the names of those very titles. This is a good indication of where I need to control my spending.
Which areas of the library circulate the least? Apparently I’ve been a bit too profligate with Religion, Sociology, and Biographies. Photography, Medicine, and Economics are also a bit on the chunky side too.
I can control my spending from here on in, but what to do with the books I already purchased? They’re good books, after all. They received stellar reviews, else I wouldn’t have bought them. The solution? Well, I can make displays of them, of course. And why don’t I highlight some right here today? Books that deserve a second chance at life, doggone it. *makes sad puppy dog eyes* Won’t you check out these lovely books from your library today?
Cindy Sherman, Imitation of Life by Cindy Sherman
This magnificent book encompasses the full scope of Cindy Sherman’s career, with a special focus on the cinematic quality of her oeuvre.
Beatles Vs. Stones by John Campbell McMillian
A lively examination of the most legendary (and least understood) rivalry in the annals of rock ’n’ roll. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said, “If you thought you knew everything there was to know about these two groups, think again.”
All About “All About Eve” by Sam Staggs
A gossipy, anecdotal look at the Oscar-winning film All About Eve offers a look at the background and filming of the 1950s backstage movie starring Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe, detailing the behind-the-scenes squabbles, romances, and drama that took place.
Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions by Sekou Odinga
As Kirkus said of it, “This book demonstrates the scope of the Panthers’ intellectual gifts as well as the compassion and revolutionary spirit at the center of their radical grassroots activism.”
Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World by Sam Sommers
A lighthearted exploration of the unconscious forces that influence a life reveals the unrecognized power of context in everyday situations while sharing recommendations for using contextual insights to reshape how one sees the world and improve personal productivity and relationships.
Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars and Beyond by T.C. Onstott
This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.
My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt
In “one of the most sensitive, nuanced examinations of father and son relationships” (The Boston Globe), award-winning writer Chris Offutt struggles to understand his recently deceased father, based on his reading of the 400-plus novels his father—a well-known writer of pornography in the 1970s and 80s—left him in his will.
Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes by Kelsey Timmerman
Enlightening and thought-provoking at once, Where Am I Wearing? puts a human face on globalization.
Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn
An up-close look inside the controversy, threats, and social and cultural battles that started in the far corners of the internet and have since permeated our online lives.
The Lost Work of Will Eisner: The Earliest Comics of the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner
The comics collected within document the genesis of one of the most iconic and brilliant cartoonists of all time.
If the people that work at Evanston Public Library know one thing, it’s how to recommend a book. Now I’m sure you’ve all already seen EPL’s magnificent 101 Great Books for Children list, produced just the other day. The list has been a great success (pick up a physical copy in the library today!), so much so that we’ve received many requests for a teen or adult version. And while it’s too late in the year to kick off such lists at this point in the game, I can at least provide you with the brilliance of our staff. Therefore, it is my supreme pleasure to introduce to you Evanston Public Library’s own Staff Picks for Holiday Shopping. Here are the materials my staff think are definitely worth considering this year:
- A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – Recommended by Jill
- A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin – Recommended by Allison
- Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero – Recommended by Matthew
- World Chase Me Down by Andrew Hilleman – Recommended by Matthew
- Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova – Recommended by Renee
- The Purple Swamp Hen: Stories by Penelope Lively – Recommended by Barb
- Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – Recommended by Jill
- The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
For 2017 books, I’ve LOVED LOVED LOVED The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – Jaime
- Hold Still by Lynn Steger Strong – Recommended by Jill
- My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – Recommended by Jill
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Recommended by Barb
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jessmyn Ward – Recommended by Betsy
- Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder – Recommended by Allison
- Stoner by John Williams – Recommended by Brian
- Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin – Recommended by Jill
- The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths
Elly Griffith’s Magic Men Mystery series just gets better and better. It’s a peek into post war Britain. Did you know they took sweets off rationing in honor of the Queen’s coronation? – Bridget
- Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris – Recommended by Kassy
- A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny – Recommended by Jaime
- With Love From the Inside by Angela Pisel – Recommended by Matthew
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
An original fairytale, with an original heroine, who is not content to settle for an expected fairytale ending. Strongly grounded in Russian folklore, with a wonderful and a sense of place and time (and a little bit of magic)! – Lorena
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Recommended by Jeff
NOT an original choice, I know, but I thoroughly enjoyed wallowing in the world of 1980s arcade games and pop culture, which this novel celebrates—in addition to presenting a convincing dystopian vision for the future (and NOT just of Columbus, Ohio). It may be a good YA book—it’s got naughty bits—but I had fun with it as a rip-roaring fantasy novel for adults, too. Soon to be a Stanley Kubrick movie near you, btw . . . – Jeff
- Provenance by Ann Leckie
Set in a different corner of the Imperial Radch universe that Leckie explores in her award-winning “Ancillary” series, with a focus on how we define ourselves – individually, in relation to (or away from) our families, and as nations. – Lorena
- The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
This book features that trademark Scalzi humor, along with a compelling and fast-paced storyline that sets up what promises to be an interesting new space opera series. – Lorena
- Annihilation, Book 1 of the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer – Recommended by Jill
- Artemis by Andy Weir – Recommended by Kassy
- All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
It may seem strange to say about a book in a series called “The Murderbot Diaries,” but this was just a whole lot of fun! It’s full of classic sci-fi elements like a stranded team on a hostile planet under attack from unknown sources, but tells the tale from the viewpoint of the team’s assigned security bot – a cloned human/robot hybrid (who has hacked its own controls and is now secretly a free agent, and refers to itself as “Murderbot”). The story behind the moniker, and the question of how Murderbot finds its place in the universe, add depth (and humor) to the action. – Lorena
- Octavia Butler’s Kindred – a graphic novel adaptation, by Damian Duffy. – Recommended by Lorena
- My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
Absolutely terrific graphic novel from Japan – Martha
- My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by local author Emil Ferris – Recommended by Heather
For graphic novel fans I cannot recommend enough Emil Ferris’s book, My Favorite Thing is Monsters. I believe she lives in Evanston so there’s a local author connection as well. The art is inventive and amazing and the story, a mystery set in Uptown in Chicago referring back to WWII Germany coexists beautifully with the story of a girl’s coming of age. It would make a great gift for teens, or for anyone who’s a fan of graphic storytelling. – Julie
- Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nuff – Recommended by Jess
- Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur – Recommended by Jill
- The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy In a New Gilded Age by David Callahan
Explores the “great power shift” in American and the world today, and explores who is really in charge. As we consider who manages our destiny, we must consider the role of powerful corporations, government…and also big philanthropy. I think this is a topic that a wide variety of Evanstonians will appreciate, and it might encourage some strategic thinking. – Wynn
- How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker
Overview of cycling’s effects throughout the world and a great explanation of what Evanston means when it says “livable city” – Martha
- Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson – Recommended by Ted
- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – Recommended by Tyler
- Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson
Apart from being scrupulously researched, it is a riveting story of how pain, injustice, and then often just blind luck brought many young German Jews to the United States in the 1930s—and a chance to fight back against their persecutors, which they did extraordinarily effectively as interrogators of captured Nazis. – Jeff
- Fetch by Nicole Georges
A beautiful book about how she [Georges] learned a lot about herself by taking in a difficult rescue dog. The way she relates her own childhood and relationship problems to those of her dog is so insightful and the book is great for animal lovers or people who like stories of resilience. – Louise
- The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui – Recommended by Jess
- Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. by Danielle Allen – Recommended by Jill
- On Bowie by Rob Sheffield – Recommended by Brian
- Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes – Recommended by Brian
- Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris
For getting in the holiday spirit, I downloaded from Hoopla David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice. I like the audio version because David reads the stories. I listened to it on a plane traveling over Thanksgiving and was laughing so hard I disturbed my seat mate. – Jess
- If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? by Alan Alda – Recommended by Bridget
Young Adult Fiction
- If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Recommended by Kassy
- Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – Recommended by Louise
- You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins – Recommended by Renee
- Loving V. Virginia by Patricia Powell – Recommended by Renee
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Recommended by Taylor
Library book displays are a struggle. A real hassle, honestly. You want to make them interesting, highlight books in your collection that don’t go out enough, while at the same time having enough books to replace those that are checked out. You also need to have topics of interest. One of the great shocks of my working life was discovering that a display of new biographies on the first floor was the least popular display I’d ever done (in fifteen days not a single title moved and I had to switch it out early). In contrast, a display I did on the history of words and the English language on the second floor is currently the MOST popular display I’ve ever done. I honestly cannot keep those titles on the shelves. Good thing we have a million titles on the topic.
The best displays happen when you can tie them into some great big national event. An election, say, or national holiday. Or how about an astronomical event? Those only come once in a blue moon (pardon the pun) and are certainly worth seeking out.
Today, we celebrate the upcoming eclipse on August 21st. Put away those solar shades and exchange them for a pair of reading glasses. We’re gonna look at some recent titles you should really be seeing in conjunction with the upcoming event in the skies:
Astronomer and anthropologist Anthony Aveni explains the history and culture surrounding solar eclipses, from prehistoric Stonehenge, to Babylonian creation myths, to a confirmation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, to a spectacle that left New Yorkers in the moon’s shadow, to future eclipses that will capture human imaginations … Aveni explains the science behind the phenomenon, tracks eclipses across the ancient world, and examines the roles of solar eclipses in modern times to reveal the profound effects these cosmic events have had on human history
On a scorching July afternoon in 1878, at the dawn of the Gilded Age, the moon’s shadow descended on the American West, darkening skies from Montana Territory to Texas. This rare celestial event–a total solar eclipse–offered a priceless opportunity to solve some of the solar system’s most enduring riddles, and it prompted a clutch of enterprising scientists to brave the wild frontier in a grueling race to the Rocky Mountains. Acclaimed science journalist David Baron, long fascinated by eclipses, re-creates this epic tale of ambition, failure, and glory in a narrative that reveals as much about the historical trajectory of a striving young nation as it does about those scant three minutes when the blue sky blackened and stars appeared in mid-afternoon.
Eclipse: Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon by F.E. Close
Close explains why eclipses happen, reveals their role in history, literature, and myth, and focuses on eclipse chasers, who travel with ecstatic fervor to some of the most inaccessible places on the globe to be present at the moment of totality.
What do Virginia Woolf, the rotation of hurricanes, Babylonian kings and Einstein’s General Theory Relativity all have in common? Eclipses. Always spectacular and, today, precisely predicable, eclipses have allowed us to know when the first Olympic games were played and, long before the first space probe, that the Moon was covered by dust.
In Mask of the Sun, acclaimed writer John Dvorak the importance of the number 177 and why the ancient Romans thought it was bad to have sexual intercourse during an eclipse (whereas other cultures thought it would be good luck). Even today, pregnant women in Mexico wear safety pins on their underwear during an eclipse. Eclipses are an amazing phenomena–unique to Earth–that have provided the key to much of what we now know and understand about the sun, our moon, gravity, and the workings of the universe.
He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly
In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his. The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder–did she trust the wrong person? 15 years later, Kit and Laura are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.
The Return by Joseph Helmreich
During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye…Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows…Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.
Sunday is Mother’s Day and that can mean only one thing: Time to grab every irreverent book about moms off our shelf pronto. Sure, I could write up a list right now that’s comprised entirely of sweet goo, but my mom likes her literature with a little bite to it. I bet yours does too.
An alternative paean to the women who done birthed us all:
Lauren Weedman is not okay. She’s living what should be the good life in sunny Los Angeles. After a gig as a correspondent with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she scored parts in blockbuster movies, which led to memorable recurring roles on HBO’s Hung and Looking. She had a loving husband and an adorable baby boy. In these comedic memoirs, she turns a piercingly observant, darkly funny lens on the ways her life is actually Not Okay. She tells the story of her husband’s affair with their babysitter, her first and only threesome, a tattoo gone horribly awry, and how the birth of her son caused mama drama with her own mother and birth mother with laugh-out-loud wit and a powerful undercurrent of vulnerability that pulls off a stunning balance between comedy and tragedy.
Today’s pregnancy books may no longer recommend martinis and cigarettes to help pregnant women relax, but most offer moms-to-be a ton of worthless information–like what kind of fruit your baby is the size of at Week 16. Is there any practical value in knowing that your child resembles produce? And where’s the good stuff–the useful details, like beware of the baby registry and all the crap you will never use, or be prepared to get breast milk all over everything you own?
Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself by Ylonda Gault Caviness
“We are different–white moms and me. Very different. More or less kindred as women, but as mothers we are disparate souls. Snaps and cusses of Twitter-trending ‘Stuff black moms say’ don’t even scratch the surface.”
In this wise and funny memoir, Ylonda Gault Caviness describes her journey to the realization that all the parenting advice she was obsessively devouring as a new parent (and sharing with the world as a parenting expert on NPR, Today, in The Huffington Post, and elsewhere) didn’t mean scratch compared to her mama’s old school wisdom as a strong black woman and mother. With child number one, Caviness set her course: to give her children everything she had. Child number two came along and she patiently persisted. But when her third kid arrived, she was finally so exhausted that she decided to listen to what her mother had been saying to her for years: Give them everything they want, and there’ll be nothing left of you. In Child, Please, Caviness describes the road back to embracing a more sane–not to mention loving–way of raising children. Her mother had it right all along
How to Party With an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings
The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the “Mommy Wars” and manages to find friendship and love.When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: he was engaged to someone else. Fast forward two years, Mele’s daughter is a toddler, and Bobby and his fiancée want Ellie to be the flower girl at their wedding. Mele, who also has agreed to attend the nuptials, knows she can’t continue obsessing about Bobby and his cheese making, Napa-residing, fiancée. She needs something to do. So she answers a questionnaire provided by the San Francisco Mommy Club in elaborate and shocking detail and decides to enter their cookbook writing contest. Even though she joined the group out of desperation, Mele has found her people: Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry (a stay-at-home dad). As the wedding date approaches, Mele uses her friends’ stories to inspire recipes and find comfort, both. How to Party with an Infant is a hilarious and poignant novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings, who has an uncanny ability to make disastrous romances and tragic circumstances not only relatable and funny, but unforgettable.
Annette Bening was robbed ROBBED of an Oscar nomination for this film. It’s not a showy performance or anything but a deeply funny, touching, sometimes sad, and thoroughly three-dimensional rendering of a single mom just trying to do right by her son. The cast is fantastic. The movie? Unforgettable. This is the kind of motherhood I like to see put on film.