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  • Tara Sonin 5:00 pm on 2018/03/09 Permalink
    Tags: , anita hill, , , brown girl dreaming, , children of blood and bone, , diary of anne frank, dread nation, erika l. sanchez, , , , , i am not your perfect mexican daughter, inspiring stories, , jessica spotswood, justina ireland, kate moore, , , , love hate and other filters, march forward girl, margot lee shetterly, meet cute, melba patillo beals, my beloved world, , , nicola yoon, , option b, piecing me together, , , renee watson, , , ruth bader ginsburg, samira ahmed, she persisted, sheryl sandberg, , sonia sotomayor, speaking truth to power, , , the radical element, the scarlett letter, tomi adeyemi,   

    25 Must-Reads for Women’s History Month 

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    It’s Women’s History Month, so to celebrate the women who have shaped our history, written characters we loved, lived lives we admired and learned from…here are twenty five books you should read this month!

    Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
    An essential collection of essays perfect for women’s history month reading about feminism in the modern world, all from the perspective of writer and activist Roxane Gay. The intersections of race, gender, body politics, and much more collide in a poignant, funny, and striking collection.

    Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
    Told through poetry, the story of an African American girl’s journey through adolescence stings with the remains of Jim Crow and follows her through the Civil Rights Movement. But it’s also the story of a writer coming into her own, learning the power of words, and overcoming a childhood struggle with reading.

    March Forward, Girl, by Melba Patillo Beals
    Another memoir about a courageous, young black girl living in a racist, segregated society, this one will inspire you to action in your own life. You may know of Melba Patillo Beals as one of the legendary Little Rock Nine, but her story begins before that…and leads her to a lifetime of resilience.

    I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sanchez
    Olga was perfect. She did everything her parents wanted. But then she died, and Julia has no chance of being the perfect Mexican daughter her sister was. That is, until she learns her sister may not have been so perfect after all. A story of family, Mexican culture, the American Dream, and much more.

    Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton
    Not the memoir you expected, but an important one: one of history’s most influential women and former Secretary of State details her life experience in politics and during her time in the Obama administration.

    She Persisted, by Chelsea Clinton
    Like mother, like daughter! Chelsea’s picture book about women throughout history who have persisted during difficult times is inspiring and informative. Learn the stories of women such as Ruby Bridges, who triumphed during the Civil Rights Movement; Helen Keller, who owned her identity as a disabled woman and refused to let others define her abilities; Oprah Winfrey, media mogul and the first black female billionaire, and more!

    Love Hate and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed
    Another story about young women loving their families and yet, defying the cultures they come from. Maya wants to go to film school, live in New York, and be with a boy who isn’t Muslim. But her parents want the opposite. Can she reconcile the life they want for her with the life she wants for herself?

    My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor
    Yes, you need to read the book by the first Latina Supreme Court Justice! Sonia grew up in the projects in the Bronx and wound up on the most senior court in the land. How did she get there? By overcoming adversity, relying on family, and learning to love herself.

    My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    If there is a more incredible woman to learn from…well, we can’t finish that sentence, because there isn’t. RBG has seen it all, and in this collection of essays on everything from her early career, being a woman, the law, and much more, she shares her wisdom with us.

    Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
    The book that became a box office smash is a must-read. The story of the NASA mathematicians—and African-American women—who changed the face of the race to space was lost to time and whitewashed history. But now you can read about the brilliance and ambition of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

    Radium Girls by, Kate Moore
    A new product hit the market that people all across the country used for beauty and medicinal purposes. We now know this dangerous product for what it really is: radium, and while people were using it to make themselves more beautiful and healthier, the truth was glistening beneath the surface. When the girls working in the radium factories got sick, it exposed an industry’s dark underbelly of corruption, abuse, and more.

    The Radical Element, by Jessica Spotswood (and others)
    The subtitle of this anthology tells you everything you need to know: daredevils, debutants, and other dauntless girls throughout history finally have their stories told. From some of the best YA authors come twelve short stories about everything from girls secretly learning Hebrew in the US South, to living as a second-generation immigrant, and much more.

    Meet Cute, by Nicola Yoon, Nina Lacour, and other authors.
    Another anthology written by women! Why this for Women’s History Month, you ask? Because the stories touch all intersections of love: interracial relationships, trans love, bisexual love, and so much more.

    Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank
    The haunting story of a girl’s innocence touched by the violence and hatred of the Third Reich has a message that still persists to this day: love one another, before it is too late.

    Shrill, by Lindy West
    For centuries, society has demanded women be small, warm, sexually open (but not too open), good mothers, good wives, smart but not too smart….the list goes on and on, but the one thing women are not supposed to be, is shrill. This memoir is about all the things women are, and more importantly, what we could be if we were set free.

    The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
    Starr is a girl living two lives: the one with her black family, in a neighborhood struggling with systemic racism, poverty, gang violence and police brutality…and as a student at a private school with white friends and a white boyfriend who are often insensitive when it comes to matters of race. But when her childhood best friend is maliciously gunned down by police, Starr bridges her two worlds with a message that all need to hear: black lives matter.

    We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Based on an essay by the same name, this book tackles the issue of feminism head on. Exploring everything from race and gender to sex and power dynamics, this incredible book is perfect for those just starting to break down the definition of feminism and how it applies to their lives.

    Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg
    When her husband died, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was faced with a choice: lose herself to her grief, or turn to option B and try to find a way forward. She chose the second option, but she did not do so alone. This book examines grief, and the multitude of ways human beings process it, and how to find happiness again “when option A is not available.”

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
    Don’t miss the unforgettable story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells were taken from her during cancer treatment…and without her knowledge, consent, or compensation, provided essential information to cancer research. Those cells are still alive today, and in them, her legacy lives on.

    Speaking Truth to Power, by Anita Hill
    The #MeToo movement has had many starts and stops, and one of them was no doubt spurred by the testimony of Anita Hill, who alleged that her former boss—and Supreme Court Justice nominee—Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. The message in this book rings loud and clear: to be a woman in a man’s world, you must get comfortable standing up for yourself and what you believe to be true.

    Piecing Me Together, by Renee Watson
    To live the life she wants, Jade has to get out of her bad neighborhood…and its not enough that she already goes to a private school far away from home. But she’s not sure the way out is through the opportunities given to black girls from “at-risk” backgrounds, either. A moving portrait of living in systemic racism, about loving who you are, and wanting everything out of life.

    Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
    A fantasy inspired by the lore and culture of West Africa, this YA novel is one of the buzziest books of the year. Zéli’s mother was murdered, as were so many other maji, by a king who feared the magic they possessed. But now she has a chance to restore her kingdom to glory…if she can align herself with a princess, and outsmart a prince.

    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    This story of a family of women bonded while the patriarch of the family is off at war has lasted generations for its timeless message of love, sisterhood, and fighting for what you want in life.

    The Scarlett Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    The book that explored the stigma of the fallen women has inspired many stories since. Hester has been branded with a Scarlet A to wear on her clothing a symbol of her sin: having a child out of wedlock, and refusing to name the father.

    Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
    Jane McKeene was born during the Civil War…but when zombies start rising from the dead, the war becomes something else entirely. Indigenous and black kids are forced to learn how to eradicate the monsters. This one publishes in April, but you should pre-order it for Women’s History Month today.

    What books are you reading in honor of Women’s History Month?

    The post 25 Must-Reads for Women’s History Month appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 8:46 pm on 2015/04/20 Permalink
    Tags: brown girl dreaming, , , heidi, i am malala, , , ,   

    10 Graduation Stories You Never Outgrow 

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    Whether you know a proud kindergarten graduate, a teen donning a cap and gown to get her high school diploma, or someone finishing the last exam for his college degree, a book is an outstanding gift to celebrate all his/her hard work and accomplishments. Here are ten choices that your giftee will enjoy for years to come.

    Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
    “Now here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” An apt quote from The Little Prince begins one of the chapters in R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, which tells the story of August (Auggie) Pullman, an ordinary 10-year-old boy with an extraordinary appearance. Auggie was born with facial abnormalities and, due to his health, has been homeschooled his entire life. He’s now entering public school and, as he puts it, is “pretty much totally and completely petrified.” Told from the differing perspectives of Auggie, his classmates, his sister, and others, this remarkable novel follows Auggie on his journey towards acceptance, proving that you really can’t judge a book by its cover—a great lesson to learn at any age.

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
    The first book in J.K. Rowling’s world-famous series about a young wizard named Harry Potter is inspirational for two key reasons. For starters, Rowling’s personal life is a rags-to-riches tale; she went from being a single mother on welfare who was told she shouldn’t expect to make much money writing children’s books, to being the author of the bestselling book series of all time. Secondly, Harry himself comes from meager beginnings, forced to live in a dusty cupboard under the stairs at his aunt and uncle’s house after his parents are killed when he’s a baby. He is unaware of his wizarding background and his legendary status as “the boy who lived” until he is 11 years old. Whether they identify with Rowling or with her beloved fictional creation, graduates will find inspiration here.

    The Giver, by Lois Lowry
    Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly utopian society—there’s no crime, hunger, or poverty. But neither is there love, music, or color. Children are assigned jobs by the Elders at the Ceremony of Twelve; their entire life’s work is decided for them when they’re only 12 years old. And Jonas is given the most important and most difficult job of all: Receiver of Memory. He then learns the ugly truth about his community and its dystopian, mind-controlling reality. He and the Giver, from whom he receives the memories, devise a plot for Jonas’ escape from the Sameness. But can he really leave? Lowry’s provocative book is a classic that celebrates the power of love, humanity, and an indomitable spirit. It will encourage graduates to question everything and embrace even the toughest challenges life throws at them.

    I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
    On October 9, 2012, while Malala Yousafzai was heading to school, an armed Taliban member boarded her bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” before shooting her at point-blank range. Her crime? Speaking against a Taliban mandate forbidding women and girls from attending school. Adapted for young readers from the original bestselling memoir, this powerful book tells Malala’s story and follows her as she becomes an important voice in the battle to achieve education for all. Her work provides a shining example of the ability to effect change no matter how dismal the circumstances may seem.

    The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
    “Patient is a useful way to be when you’re an ape,” says Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lives in a glass cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. “Gorillas are as patient as stones. Humans, not so much.” He’s been there for so long—27 years—that he doesn’t remember much about his life in the jungle. While humans file in off the freeway to stare at him, Ivan watches TV, creates art, eats bananas, and hangs out with his friends Stella, an elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. One day, Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, arrives at the mall, and Ivan is forced to recall his life as a free animal, compelling him to secure a better life for Ruby and himself. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla named Ivan, this illustrated novel will stick with readers long after they’ve turned the last page. It teaches lasting lessons about friendship, courage, and the importance of kindness.

    Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
    Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir is written entirely in free verse—vivid, well-crafted poems that tell the stirring story of her childhood. Brown Girl Dreaming covers much ground in its 336 pages—Woodson’s childhood in the ’60s and ’70s in South Carolina and then New York, living with her grandmother and then later reuniting with her mother, navigating a segregated South, experiencing the Civil Rights movement, being brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and finding her voice as a burgeoning writer despite her difficulties with reading. The book is a beautifully written coming-of-age story, told honestly and eloquently, that reinforces the power of having hope and holding onto your dreams.

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
    Best described by its author, Brian Selznick, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” This unique work tells the tale of Hugo, a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station, fixing clocks and stealing to survive. He’s also attempting to repair an automaton—a mechanical man with a pen poised in hand, discovered by his now-deceased father. Hugo believes the robot has a message to deliver him from his father, who recently died in a fire. Inspired by French filmmaker Georges Méliès, the story flies by, with nearly 300 pages of black-and-white illustrations in the more-than-500-page book.

    Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
    Heidi has been engaging and entertaining readers for more than a century, and this particular edition, with a stunningly illustrated cover by Anna Bond, lead artist for stationery brand Rifle Paper Co., makes an especially delightful gift. Heidi is the story of a young Swiss orphan who is sent to live with her surly grandfather at the age of 5. The joyful and sweetly sincere Heidi loves her grandfather and her life with him in the mountains, so she’s devastated to leave when her aunt sends her to live with another family in the city to act as a companion for a girl in a wheelchair. How can Heidi find her way back to her grandfather and her true home? A charming story about the power of love and forgiveness.

    The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the enchanting first book in C.S. Lewis’s bestselling fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, was first published in 1950; the novels have since sold more than 100 million copies. And whether it’s a reader’s first or 50th trip through the wardrobe to the magical land of Narnia, where mythical creatures and talking animals are the norm, this collector’s edition boxed set is a gorgeous way to transport them. Pauline Baynes has hand-painted her original black-and-white pictures for this full-color collection. The set includes all seven titles in the series—The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe;The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle.

    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    Though its setting and original publication were in the 19th century, Little Women is a timeless children’s classic. It follows the lives of the March girls—Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth—and their mother as they struggle and persevere while their father is away serving as a chaplain during the Civil War. It celebrates the bonds of family and teaches the important lessons: that happiness isn’t dependent upon possessions, and that this too shall pass. While the family endures its share of heartache, the story is ultimately an uplifting one that will inspire every reader.

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