Tuesday, July 3, 2018

4th of July Picks: Books, Movies & More!


Happy (almost) 4th of July! Many of us enjoyed some early Independence Day celebrations last weekend, but the holiday isn't over yet! In fact, with the 4th falling midweek, it seems like the perfect opportunity to stretch the festivities through another weekend. So if you're in the mood for something patriotic this week—or something that just screams 4th of July celebrations—we have a few suggestions!


Beth's Pick


READ/LISTEN TO Drunken Fireworks by Stephen King
View in catalog
Get e-book on Kentucky Libraries Unbound

Alden and his mother are newly rich thanks to an insurance policy and a scratch-off lottery ticket, but their neighbors, the Massimo family, are RICH rich. What begins as a friendly fireworks competition between the two lake house neighbors (known in the county as "The 4th of July Arms Race") ends in disaster. Skillfully read, this 2 disc story is a great 4th of July read!

Beth is the Assistant Branch Manager at Lebanon Junction Branch Library. In addition to managing staff and coordinating displays at Lebanon Junction, she is also a frequent Staff Picks contributor.



Brandy's Picks


WATCH Captain America: The First Avenger
There is nothing more patriotic than Captain America himself. For this holiday season, if you can’t get a Captain America movie marathon in, at the very least grab a copy of Captain America The First Avenger. A tale of a man who would do anything to serve his country in World War II, so it is an amazing story perfect for the 4th! Plus Chris Evans... do I need to say more?



LISTEN TO Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording
If music is more your thing, grab yourself a copy of Hamilton, or better yet download it from Hoopla so you can take it out with you while you watch fireworks. It took awhile to convince me that rap about one of our country’s founding fathers could be something I wouldn’t die of boredom listening too, but it is legit! After the first couple of songs, you literally can’t walk away! There is a reason this is a phenomenon. Amazing songs, talented singers, and a story you wonder how it can be based on reality. Don’t throw away your shot—yes the pun is intended—to jam to Hamilton this 4th of July.

Brandy T. is a Children's Programming & Outreach Specialist. Beginning in August, her primary location will be Hillview Branch Library although she will also be organizing new monthly events like Wonder On and Homeschool Connect for multiple locations.


Gayle's Pick

WATCH Independence Day

Of course we all know that the 4th of July comes once a year. In the midst of the noise that accompanies it, this film makes an even louder statement! While obviously tongue-in-cheek from beginning to end, it reminds us of the value of a united people and the sacrifices that many have made since the idea of a United States of America first began. Whoever the enemy, be it a country or beings from outer space, Independence Day will revive pride in being a 'merican! A perfect movie for this time of year!

Gayle is a Teen and Adult Programming and Outreach Specialist. Although she plans programs for multiple BCPL locations, you'll see her most often at our Lebanon Junction and Mt. Washington branches, where she offers monthly events like Brown Bag Book Club and Wii Bowling.



Heather's Pick

READ/LISTEN TO America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins
Get e-audiobook on Kentucky Libraries Unbound

A beautifully written and incredibly well-researched book that explores the funny and courageous women who built the history of our nation. I laughed and cried through the entire book, and when I finally closed it, I felt so proud to be a descendant of these incredible historical figures. This book is a must-read for every young woman searching for the bravery and independence of womanhood in America.

Heather is an Administrative Assistant with BCPL's Public Relations team. Responsibilities include graphic design, content creation, and proofreading.


Jenn's Pick

WATCH Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
View in catalog

I love this documentary because it reminds me of the impact that just one person can have for good, when you choose to speak your mind. Celebrate your freedom of speech this Independence Day!

Jennifer Nippert is BCPL's Assistant Director. Among other tasks, she oversees staff development and works with the Library Director and Board of Trustees to develop and implement strategic planning initiatives.



Marianne's Pick

READ/LISTEN TO What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

No matter what you think about the current political climate, Mr. Rather's observations of our nation's history are bound to remind you that we are capable of more when we are united instead of divided.

Marianne is part of our reference team at Ridgway Memorial Library. Responsibilities include teaching one-on-one computer classes, providing reader advisory services, and helping patrons with research and technology questions. She's also the Library's go-to person for genealogy research!



Tracy's Picks

WATCH Turn: Washington's Spies
View in catalog

What better time to begin a series about Revolutionary War spies than the week of July 4th? Based on the true story of the Culper spy ring—and featuring "cameos" from the likes of George Washington and Benedict Arnold—Turn is an absolute treasure for American history buffs. And there's plenty of danger and intrigue to keep the rest of us interested too! The series starts off just a little slow as we first get to know the characters and the various forces at play, but with its unlikely cabbage-farmer hero, complex situations, and life-and-death secrets, the storyline quickly becomes riveting. I love that the history isn't dumbed down, that the Redcoats aren't all automatically mustache-twirling villains, and that the characters' choices are often conflicted. Plus, the acting and cinematography are superb.


READ Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus

This is a great one to ooh and aah over with the kiddos! As usual, Kadir Nelson's artwork is glorious and brimming with emotion. The illustrations work seamlessly with Naberhaus's deceptively spare prose to paint a hopeful and diverse portrait of America, using the flag to represent iconic images of its people, landscapes, and ideals. Be sure not to skip the Author Notes in the back!


READ The Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin', Fiddle-Playin', Book Readin', Gun-Totin' Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter

This book for kids ages 5–8 is totally awesome for adults, too! If you've ever wanted to read a HILARIOUS, tell-it-like-it-is one-page snapshot of each of the founding fathers, this is the book for you. If that's not something you ever cared to think about, trust me—give this a try anyway. And the kids will enjoy learning about this "bunch of guys with stomach issues and wooden legs and problematic personalities" too. 

WATCH Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

This Jimmy Stewart classic about an idealistic young senator who refuses to back down against political corruption never fails to restore my faith in democracy.






Tracy Weikel is BCPL's Public Relations Coordinator. Responsibilities include coordinating BCPL's print and digital marketing tools—including signage, the library website, The Library Bulletin, and social media—as well as developing special initiatives such as Show Your Library Card and Save, Fine Forgiveness Month, and National Library Week celebrations.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BEST OF 2017: Our Favorite Nonfiction for Adults

The books considered for our 2017 nonfiction list ran the gamut—from intensely personal memoirs to true crime investigations, travelogues, ethnographic studies, historical biographies, science texts, and even cookbooks. But even in examining all of those topics, nonfiction is an extensive and wide-ranging category to cover. For example, it's difficult to directly compare the merits of Electric Arches, Eve L. Ewing's mixed-media, poetic collection, with Samin Nostrat's beautiful and lively cooking guide Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, in which the recipes are almost secondary.

Neither of those books made the final cut, but trust me—both are worth looking into. In the end, we went with our gut, choosing the books that each of us most enjoyed and appreciated. I think you'll find a bit of bias in the results—apparently, we really love memoirs!—but there is still a bit of variety in the final list for you to explore, to learn, and to enjoy.

(Also... in the interest of full disclosure, no one ever got around to reading that massive biography of Ulysses S. Grant. I'm still #32 on KLU's e-audiobook waitlist!)


The 2017 committee includes:
  • Anna, Circulation Clerk, Mt. Washington Branch Library
  • Brandy F., Reference Services, Lebanon Junction Branch Library
  • Heather, BCPL Public Relations Administrative Assistant
  • Marianne, Reference Services, Ridgway Memorial Library
  • Tanya, Circulation Clerk, Mt. Washington Branch Library
  • Tracy (that's me), BCPL Public Relations Coordinator & Committee Organizer
Alligator Candy by David Kushner
Marianne says:
An unforgettable memoir about a family's ultimate tragedy and their struggle to recover and carry on.


American Eclipse by David Baron
Marianne says:
I listened to this book in the week before the August 2017 eclipse and so really felt like I understood the excitement that the 1878 eclipse must have generated. It's an interesting and informative book about science, discovery, and invention.


American Fire by Monica Hesse
Tanya says:
I enjoy reading true crime, if it's well written, and this one definitely is. It covers all details, from beginning to end, and doesn't miss a beat. I think true crime readers will enjoy this one.
Tracy says:
This is a solid true-crime read with a little extra. The author did a masterful job putting this bizarre occurrence into thought-provoking economic and historical contexts.


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Heather says:
This short, quickly moving book packs a wild punch. Mind-blowing nuggets of information given in such a way non-scientists can understand. Not to mention, Neil deGrasse Tyson himself narrates the audiobook, and his voice is like warm molasses!
Tracy says:
This gem of a book provides a clear and fascinating overview of the subject. I might have to listen to the audio again or pick up the book to fully grasp a few of the concepts—but the book is so short and accessible, I wouldn't mind that a bit. I loved the author's occasional shamelessly dorky asides.


Heather says:
This captivating memoir could not have been told in a more beautiful way than the graphic novel format. A raw and emotional monologue on identity and heritage.
Tracy says:
 Emotionally and visually evocative. 


The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
Anna says:
I really enjoyed reading this.  It provided a broad understanding of basic civil rights issues that were going on during the 1950s and 60s in the black community. 
Tracy says:
Tyson does a clear-eyed, thorough, and thought-provoking job covering a seminal case in civil rights history, painting a vivid picture of the era's social landscape and explaining why the event is still so very relevant today. 


The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs
Brandy says:
I LOVED The Bright Hour. It's honest and thought-provoking, lyrical and touching. Heart wrenching even. It will make you laugh and make you cry. Loved every moment.


The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesenvich
Tanya says:
Very compelling read. It's almost like reading a work of fiction, but knowing it's not just amazed me. 


From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty
Anna says:
 This book is in my top three for 2017.
Heather says:
A macabre but beautiful exploration of what it means to live and die in cultures around the world. Extremely well-written and entertaining. I fought sleep to stay up and read it!


Tracy says:
Stunning, honest, and brave. Roxane Gay is a superb talent, and I was by turns heartbroken, inspired, and awed by every word she wrote. Her story is both universal and achingly personal.


Anna says:
A well-written combination of history and memoir, told from multiple voices.
Marianne says:
Another heart-wrenching and mind-boggling history lesson about the incredible injustice dealt to the Osage American Indians by our government.


Tracy says:
I can't stop thinking about and talking about this book. It's an eye-opening look at a hidden subculture of America that is far more prevalent that we might think, based on the encounters of a journalist who embedded herself within the secret tribe of van dwellers and nomads on and off over a period of more than three years. The book does much to challenge our perceptions of "homelessness" and "houselessness," and the various "characters" and situations Bruder introduces are completely engrossing. I finished the audiobook—about 10 hours in length—in two days, listening to it on my commute, at work, while cooking dinner, and any other time I was able to squeeze it in to my day.


Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Marianne says:
This is a fascinating and astounding history lesson about life in the early 1900s for some young women who were "lucky" enough to land a lucrative job painting clock faces. You can't make this stuff up!
Tracy says:
This is a well researched, fascinating story that deserves telling. 


Anna says:
Really well-written and fascinating story. I highly recommend.


Shoot Like a Girl by Mary Jennings Hegar
Anna says:
Extremely well-written and an excellent perspective on female military service.
Heather says:
 This absolutely incredible memoir is one of my favorite books of 2017. MJ's strong, she's smart, she's funny, she's flawed, and she's brilliant. She's every repressed woman reaching for a man's dream and doing it with amazing finesse. I read this book covered in goose bumps.


Traveling with Ghosts by Shannon Leone Fowler
Heather says:
A lovely, rambling monologue on love, life, tragedy, and the healing power of immersing yourself in the world after grief has changed you.
Tanya says:
What an emotional journey this takes you on. It's not just a book, but a life story, so much love and heartbreak and healing in what seemed like not enough time. A very powerful read. 


Tracy says:
A hypnotic blend of poetry and prose that provides a raw, searing portrait of grief, a complicated childhood, and—as can be expected from Alexie—the realities of life as a modern American Indian.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

BEST OF 2017: Our Favorite Fiction for Adults

This past year, our committee has traveled from magical lands in the Middle East and medieval Russia to the haunted landscape of modern America. We've journeyed across time and space and continents, reading stories that are stunning in their eye-opening realism and others that have taken us on a fantastical adventure. We read many magnificent books that didn't make the cut, including thrillers that left us reeling (Tanya loved Fiona Barton's The Child, for example) and the ambitious offerings of literary heavyweights like Jennifer Egan, Paul Auster, and George Saunders.

In the end, though, these are the books that have most stuck with us, the ones that entertained us, taught us, and inspired us. We hope you love them as much as we did!

The 2017 committee includes:
  • Beth, Assistant Branch Manager, Lebanon Junction Branch Library
  • Donna, Circulation Clerk, Ridgway Memorial Library
  • Heather, BCPL Public Relations Administrative Assistant
  • Stephanie S., Reference Services, Hillview Branch Library
  • Tanya, Circulation Clerk, Mt. Washington Branch Library
  • Tracy (that's me), BCPL Public Relations Coordinator & Committee Organizer
  • Trish, Reference Clerk, Mt. Washington Branch Library


All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai 
Heather says:
This sci-fi novel is overflowing with personality. Insanely smart and intelligently written, Mastai has created art with words in a distant utopia, and given us a character that is endearing, funny, and a complete idiot. Loved every page of this one.
Tracy says:
Unless you count YA dystopia, sci-fi is SO not to my usual taste. But I adored this breezy, smartly written time travel caper with its bungling, strangely charming anti-hero. Mastai takes a concept that could've easily become trite or stale and breathes magnificent life into it. Once I got started, I couldn't put it down.

Donna says:
I did not think I would like this book, as it has a fantasy sticker on it, but I absolutely love it.  (Fantasy is not my usual style.)  It is set in medieval Russia.  This author made me believe the gods and demons are real in this timeframe.  I love Katherine Arden's  fresh style of writing. I almost could not put it down.
Heather says:
Beautifully written and darkly enchanting, this is a must-read for all lovers of fantasy and fairy tales. I was hooked from page one. It breathes a breath of fresh air on a genre that (usually) relies heavily on Germanic folklore by bringing to life little-known Russian fairy tales in an epic that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you breathless.

The City of Brass by S.A.Chakraborty
Tracy says:
A spellbinding, addictive fantasy that steps outside the usual tropes and settings to create something truly memorable. Weaving in fascinating details of Islamic history and folklore, The City of Brass is a fast-paced, opulent roller-coaster ride drenched in intrigue, hidden dangers, and compelling world building. I hung on every word and can't wait to see what comes next for this fascinatingly complex cast of characters.

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Donna says:
Very engrossing novel.  I could not put it down.   
Heather says:
Stunningly well-written and chock-full of visceral details. The short scenes pack big punches, and each thread interweaves in an incredible, connected stream of consciousness. Time is not linear, and there are moments of sheer brilliance in the writing. One of my favorite reads this year.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Steph says:
Wonderfully written and subtly stunning. I am going to have to read her first book.

Heather says:
My favorite thing is this book! Surreal and mesmerizing, both in the words and the gorgeous illustrations. Storytelling and mythology interweave the narrative, creating a phenomenal exploration of the human monster, society, and the inner demons we all carry. Of all the books I've read this year, this one touched me at the deepest part of my psyche.

Panchinko by Min Jin Lee
Steph says:
This book does what all good fiction is supposed to. It entertains, it teaches, it crosses the stratum of emotions, and it leaves you thinking. A must read for fans of Amy Tan or The Joy Luck Club.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
Donna says:
I loved this book.  I read the first half straight through from about 2:30 AM till 5:30 AM. Stepping into the world of a woman that lived through much hardship and just got on with her family responsibilities without any doubt about what she should do or could do struck a chord with me. I hated for the book to end. 
Steph S. says:
I really enjoyed this book. It is beautifully written.
Tanya says:
I liked this book more than I expected to. It's a nicely written story and it kept me interested beginning to end.

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
Beth says:
Loved this book! A good coming-of-age story. 
Heather says:
A wildly fun romp through a little girl's screwed up world. It's like a mid-grade novel on steroids. 

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Steph says:
This was fantastic!

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan
Donna says:
A generational story of wealthy refugees, this novel offers a view into a slice of life that we ordinarily do not see. The tense relations between the East and West areas of the world have been going on since time began, it seems. This story seems to close the distance just a little, and brings understanding of another culture with it.


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Beth says:
"Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks! When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41!" Lizzie Borden was acquitted of murdering her parents in 1892, but there has always been a question of whether she really did the deed, and the author presents a fictional tale of how the murders could have happened.
Heather says: 
What a ride! A gripping opening, razor-sharp dialogue, and an intense attention to detail that puts you right in the scene. The narrative flows into madness until Lizzie becomes real, and you question everything. This one has stuck with me for a while.

Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Tracy says:
An urgent, haunting exploration of the weight of history and how it echoes through today's reality. Reminiscent of Beloved, with a powerful, thoroughly modern spin.

Beth says:
Aa great read, especially when you figure out what the “twelve lives” are.
Tanya says:
This is one of my favorites. It travels back and forth between past and present in the book setting, but it flows perfectly. I had a hard time putting this one down. Excellent read.

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Donna says:
I found this novel to be a true page turner. The characters are universal.  Even though the book is set in the middle east, the story could take place right here in the United States. If not for the mention of towns like Beersheba and lots of mentions of the desert, a person could forget exactly where the story takes place. The human emotions of fear, jealousy, and survival are the same in any language or country. I highly recommend this novel.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

BEST OF 2017: Our Favorite Books for Teens

In a year that the new John Green book doesn't make our Best of the Year list, you know it was a great year for Young Adult literature. In fact, there were so many additional books we loved this year, that we can't resist also adding a Honorable Mentions list!

The 2017 committee includes:
  • Chris, Circulation Clerk, Mt. Washington Branch Library
  • Crystal, Circulation Clerk, Mt. Washington Branch Library
  • Heather, BCPL Public Relations Administrative Assistant
  • Stephanie S., Reference Services, Hillview Branch Library
  • Tracy (that's me), BCPL Public Relations Coordinator & Committee Organizer


FICTION
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Chris says:
From the start, this book grips you in an emotional struggle and doesn’t let go.
Tracy says:
Magical and gritty and completely original. I usually move from one book to the next easily, but with this book, I was compelled to pause a bit to breathe it in and absorb the experience fully.

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
Heather says:

A bizarre, intriguing journey into a brilliant mind that made me think I was losing mine! Incredible relationship dynamics and characters I wanted to drown in.
Tracy says:
Gripping from the first page, this mind-bending sci-fi gem delivers a little of everything, from complex, dynamic characters and stunning writing to a visceral, almost claustrophobic level of suspense.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Crystal says:
Loved, loved, LOVED this one! I cannot recommend this series enough.
Steph says:
THIS WAS FANTASTIC! I am amazed that a third book in a series is keeping up so well, maybe even surpassing its prequels.

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner 
Steph says:
An exceptionally well-written roller coaster of emotions. 
Good luck putting this one down!

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
Heather says:

A wild romp from page one! Written in a conversational, bantering tone from the point-of-view of an itinerant man of privilege, this book is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny. It's like nothing I've ever read before, and I didn't want it to end! I'm so excited there's a sequel coming in 2018!
Tracy says:
This book is a wild, delightful romp from page 1. I didn't even know or care where the plot was going for the first quarter of the book—I simply hung on for the ride. I loved almost everything about it from beginning to end: the sometimes stunning writing that caught me unaware, moving me quickly from laughter to admiration for the writer's skill; the deliciously layered characters and relationships; the breakneck pacing; and most of all Monty's witty, brash, incorrigible, and occasionally vulnerable voice. Although I am gutted that the next book will have a different narrator, I can't wait for the sequel from Felicity's POV!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Heather says:

This book has wickedly clever writing, and a narrator whose voice is pure gold. I read it two days, hooked and unable to stop!
Tracy says:
A well-written, fast-paced read with substance! This is an important book that is also enjoyable to read, featuring a great, authentic voice and wonderful character development.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe
Steph says:
What a haunting and heartbreaking story about the foster care system and the power of love. The two main characters are so well-developed and relatable, you will love them. This story will stick with you. But seriously, you will need tissues.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Crystal says:

I really liked this one. It left you wondering what choice Will was going to make.That kind of ambiguity usually bothers me in endings, but I think it worked really well with this book.
Heather says:
Breathtaking and poetic; raw and anguished. I loved this and walked away from this book with a total author crush on Jason Reynolds.
Tracy says:
The verse is strong, and there is a mesmerizing tension that will transfix even the most reluctant reader. I was stunned by the power, emotion, and insight Reynolds was able to infuse into this short book that essentially takes place in a matter of minutes. Reminds me of a strange, magical mashup of both Walter Dean Myers's Monster and A Christmas Carol.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Chris says:
I loved this book. There were so many moments that made me stop and close the book so I could digest them. A very powerful read.

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland
Tracy says:
This graphic novel is creepily, eerily good! The intentionally messy art took some getting used to, but the frenzied lines and vivid, loud colors create the perfect backdrop for Westerfeld's mysterious, nightmarish world. This first installment of an intended duology introduces intriguing characters and plotlines full of complexity and nuance—I can't wait to see what will happen next.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Steph S. says:

A beautifully written story about an underdog who dared to dream. This book will remind you of why you fell in love with reading, or make you fall in love for the first time.
Crystal says:
This was my first time reading anything by this author. The world Taylor has created is like nothing I’ve ever read before. Skillfully written characters and an intriguing story. I could not put it down.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Heather says:
This entirely un-put-downable book starts deep in the thick of tension and stays heart-pounding till the end. The tension is incredible, and the two narrators are the perfect voices to tell a story about dying too young—and knowing it's coming. Silvera has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Chris says:
This book feels very personal and genuine. One of the most realistic depictions of modern teens I've seen in a book.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Heather says:

Jae-Jones is an author with a true talent for painting with words. I couldn't put this book down! Rich and majestic, with an aching depth to the protagonist and a cruel vulnerability to the Erlking. Reckless and dark and oh-so-beautiful.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
Chris says:
The characters felt like real people. I was surprised at how easy it was to be pulled in.
Steph says:
Strong characters and a great story.




Honorable Mentions:
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Bang by Barry Lyga
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley





NONFICTION


The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Saved Their Lives 
by Dashka Slater
Tracy says:
This is a powerful story about the flawed legal system, gender identity, and perception, centered on  two teens whose lives were changed by an impulsive crime—one the the victim, the other the perpetrator. An artful exploration in the healing power found in simple humanity, tolerance, and forgiveness.


How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
Tracy says:

A gut-wrenching and inspiring memoir about growing up in a conflict zone, adapting to life in the U.S., and finding your voice. Told in conversational language with almost brutal honesty, Sandra's story is both eye-opening and thoughtful, neither sensationalizing nor downplaying her experiences.

Spinning by Tillie Walden
Heather says:
Gorgeous illustrations and an incredibly realistic story combine to make this memoir something that teens (and even adults) can relate to—particularly in aspects of bullying, sexual identity, and a feeling of isolation. I didn't put it down once I picked it up.


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