The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by-Issa RaeThe Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by: Issa Rae
In the bestselling tradition of Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a collection of humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.

My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this debut collection of essays written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.

A reflection on her own unique experiences as a cyber pioneer yet universally appealing, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.
Release: 2/10/15
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Walking with the Wind; A Memoir of the Movement by-John Lewis, Michael D'OrsoWalking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by: John Lewis
The award-winning national bestseller, Walking with the Wind, is one of the most important records of the American civil rights movement as told by a true American hero, John Lewis, who Cornel West called a “national treasure.” An eloquent and gripping first-hand account of the turbulent struggle for civil rights and the willingness and courage to change the course of history.

Forty years ago, a teenaged boy named John Lewis stepped off a cotton farm in Alabama and into the epicenter of the struggle for civil rights in America. The ideals of nonviolence which guided that critical time of American history established him as one of the movement’s most charismatic and courageous leaders.

Lewis’s leadership in the Nashville Movement—a student-led effort to desegregate the city of Nashville using sit-in techniques based on the teachings of Gandhi—established him as one of the movement’s defining figures and set the tone for the major civil rights campaigns of the 1960s. During this decade, he was repeatedly a victim of violence and intimidation, but his singular belief in non-violent action, inspired by his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, was a defining characteristic of his leadership and vision. In 1986, he ran and won a congressional seat in Georgia, and remains in office to this day.

Walking with the Wind is the story of an American hero. A boy from rural Alabama whose journey led him to Washington, and whose vision and perseverance changed a nation.
Release: 2/10/15
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The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam RexThe True Meaning of Smekday by: Adam Rex
It all starts with a school essay. When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens—called Boov—abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod? In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion. Fully illustrated with “photos,” drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel from best-selling author Adam Rex.
Release: 2/10/15
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Grade Level: 3 – 7

The Half That's Never Been Told by Doctor DreadThe Half That’s Never Been Told by: Doctor Dread
A passionate memoir and fearless behind-the-scenes look at the personal lives of the biggest reggae stars in the world. Doctor Dread has committed his life to producing reggae music and releasing it on his label, RAS Records. He has become one of the world’s foremost reggae producers, and has worked with almost all the genre’s icons: Bunny Wailer, Black Uhuru, Ziggy and Damian Marley, Gregory Isaacs, etc. This book, full of behind-the-scenes stories, has shocking chapters that will reveal aspects of reggae never before explored.
Release: 2/9/15
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Black Ice by Valmore JamesBlack Ice by: Valmore James
The first black American in the NHL tells his story

Val James became the first African American player in the NHL when he took to the ice with the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, and in 1987 he became the first black player of any nationality to skate for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Born in central Florida, James grew up on Long Island and received his first pair of skates for his 13th birthday. At 16, James left home to play in Canada, where he was the only black person in junior and, often, in the whole town. While popular for his tough play and winning personality, the teenager faced racist taunts at opposing arenas, and the prejudice continued at all levels of the game. In his two NHL stints, James defined himself as a smart team player and opponent, known for his pugilistic skills.

Black Ice is the untold story of a trail-blazing athlete who endured and overcame discrimination to realize his dreams and become an inspiration for future generations.
Release: 2/10/15
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The Presidency in Black and White by April RyanThe Presidency in Black and White by: April Ryan
In The Presidency in Black and White, journalist April Ryan gives readers a compelling and personal behind-the-scenes look at race relations in contemporary America from the epicenter of American power and policy making—the White House, her beat since 1997. On behalf of the American Urban Radio Networks, and through her “Fabric of America” news blog, she delivers her readership and listeners (millions of African Americans and close to 300 radio affiliates) a “unique urban and minority perspective in news.” Her position as a White House Correspondent has afforded her unique insight into the racial sensitivities, issues, and attendant political struggles of our nation’s last three presidents.

In Bill Clinton, Ryan saw both a savvy politician who did his best to stay above the racial fray in public, and a man privately pained from the wrongs done to African-Americans throughout our history, not unlike those with whom he’d grown up in Arkansas. In George W. Bush, a man she respected as a faithful husband and father, an unprecedented amount of backlash against what was spun and perceived as racism in his policies – particularly those surrounding his administration’s horrendous handling of Hurricane Katrina – from which he never truly recovered, and by which he remained personally haunted for years. And in Barack Obama – a President expected to transcend divisions and raise us above our racial squabbling simply by taking office – a leader who, especially early in his administration, drew his own form of fire from those who noted his surprising absence from various racial issues that presented themselves on the national stage, but upon which he did not seem moved to comment, much less act.

With humor, grace, and determination, April shares the highs and lows of her sometimes lonely but rewarding battle to keep questions of race relations in America on the political front burner, and in the President’s ear. She has made this battle her life’s work and will never stop fighting to give a voice to those members of our society who have too long been silenced.
Release: 2/15/15
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Alone atop the Hill by Alice DunniganAlone atop the Hill by:Alice Dunnigan
In 1942 Alice Allison Dunnigan, a sharecropper’s daughter from Kentucky, made her way to the nation’s capitol and a career in journalism that eventually led her to the White House. With Alone atop the Hill, Carol McCabe Booker has condensed Dunnigan’s 1974 self-published autobiography to appeal to a general audience and has added scholarly annotations that provide historical context. Dunnigan’s dynamic story reveals her importance to the fields of journalism, women’s history, and the civil rights movement and creates a compelling portrait of a groundbreaking American.

Dunnigan recounts her formative years in rural Kentucky as she struggled for a living, telling bluntly and simply what life was like in a Border State in the first half of the twentieth century. Later she takes readers to Washington, D.C., where we see her rise from a typist during World War II to a reporter. Ultimately she would become the first black female reporter accredited to the White House; to travel with a U.S. president; credentialed by the House and Senate Press Galleries; accredited to the Department of State and the Supreme Court; voted into the White House Newswomen’s Association and the Women’s National Press Club; and recognized as a Washington sports reporter.

A contemporary of Helen Thomas and a forerunner of Ethel Payne, Dunnigan traveled with President Truman on his coast-to-coast, whistle-stop tour; was the first reporter to query President Eisenhower about civil rights; and provided front-page coverage for more than one hundred black newspapers of virtually every race issue before the Congress, the federal courts, and the presidential administration. Here she provides an uninhibited, unembellished, and unvarnished look at the terrain, the players, and the politics in a rough-and-tumble national capital struggling to make its way through a nascent, postwar racial revolution.
Release: 2/15/15
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