Oluo’s skillful, concise, and often humorous writing makes this an accessible, but impactful, read for anyone wanting to learn more about or address how racism pervades our society in many shapes and sizes. Each of the 17 chapters/essays in this book is framed around a question (“What if I talk about race wrong?”, “Is police brutality really about race?”, “What is cultural appropriation?”). Oluo explains why this topic matters, provides concrete facts, statistics, and revelatory anecdotes, explains how the issue manifests in our daily lives, and instructs us on how to reframe our mindsets, conversations, and actions to address these issues.Though Oluo notes that everyone could benefit from reading this, it is all the more important for those of us whose privilege (read: us white people) has shielded us from having to seriously grapple with these questions on a daily basis.
SERIOUS YA PAGE TURNER ALERT. Kiera can only be herself in the world of SLAY - the multiplayer online role-playing game that SHE created as a safe haven for herself and a celebration of Black culture. Not a single person knows she is the game developer for a game with half a million players. When a boy is murdered in real life over her game, it seems that everyone now has an opinion on just what kind of a world SLAY is. You will not be able to put this hugely original, brilliant story down.
Everyone I have recommended this book to has immediately thanked me and then recommended it to 18 of their friends. In a book that reads like fiction, therapist Lori Gottlieb tells us everything you've ever wanted to know about her interactions with therapy patients, her own experience with her therapist, and truths about life in general. You'll cry, you'll laugh, and you'll realize why the world would be a better place if only everyone went to therapy.
Zoey is a seventh grader who feels like she’s drowning. Responsible for two much younger siblings, she knows she should be grateful that they finally have a place to live in Lenny’s (her mom’s boyfriend) crowded trailer. But as she tries to find ways to get them to and from school while her mom works, get dinner made, keep their clothes clean without a washing machine, and finish her homework, all while avoiding making Lenny mad - she can’t help but wish for lives more her classmates. When a no-excuses teacher makes her join the debate team, she starts to see things from a new perspective. Maybe there is something she can do to improve not only her situation, both those around her who seem misunderstood at best, and in serious danger at worst. A heart-tugger that takes a nuanced look at how class and violence in America affects our most vulnerable.
Wow. This story in verse is a heart-wrenching reimagining of the past that masterfully combines historical and artistic references you’ll be googling for days. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, but YA, vibes. Artemisia Gentileschi was one of Rome’s most talented painters in the 1600s, though her dad signed his own name to her work beginning in her teens. Assaulted by a famous male artist mentor, she decides to take him to court and in doing so puts her own reputation, career, and well-being on trial alongside - or perhaps instead of - him. Bolstering herself with empowering biblical stories she remembers from her dead mother, this historical novel echoes as an ever-too current reminder of what it is to be a woman in a man’s world. I cannot begin to fathom how Joy McCullough pulled this off. Incredible.