Up From Freedom by:Wayne Grady
For readers of Colson Whitehead, James McBride, Yaa Gyasi and Lawrence Hill, Up From Freedom is a powerful and emotional novel about the dangers that arise when we stay silent in the face of prejudice or are complicit in its development.
As a young man, Virgil Moody vowed he would never be like his father, he would never own slaves. When he moves from his father’s plantation in Savannah to New Orleans, he takes with him Annie, a tiny woman with sharp eyes and a sharper tongue, who he is sure would not survive life on the plantation. She’ll be much safer with him, away from his father’s cruelty. And when he discovers Annie’s pregnancy, already a few months along, he is all the more certain that he made the right decision.
As the years pass, the divide between Moody’s assumptions and Annie’s reality widens ever further. Moody even comes to think of Annie as his wife and Lucas as their son. Of course, they are not. As Annie reminds him, in moments of anger, she and Moody will never be equal. She and her son are enslaved. When their “family” breaks apart in the most brutal and tragic way, and Lucas flees the only life he’s ever known, Moody must ask himself whether he has become the man he never wanted to be–but is he willing to hear the answer?
Stretching from the war-torn banks of the Rio Brazos in Texas to the muddy waters of Freedom, Indiana, Moody travels through a country on the brink of civil war, relentlessly searching for Lucas and slowly reconciling his past sins with his hopes for the future. When he meets Tamsey, a former slave, and her family trying to escape the reach of the Fugitive Slave Act, Moody sees an opportunity for redemption. But the world is on the cusp of momentous change, and though some things may be forgotten, nothing is ever really forgiven.
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Afro-Dog by:Professor Benedicte Boisseron
The animal-rights organization PETA asked “Are Animals the New Slaves?” in a controversial 2005 fundraising campaign; that same year, after the Humane Society rescued pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while black residents were neglected, some declared that white America cares more about pets than black people. These are but two recent examples of a centuries-long history in which black life has been pitted against animal life. Does comparing human and animal suffering trivialize black pain, or might the intersections of racialization and animalization shed light on interlinked forms of oppression?
In Afro-Dog, Bénédicte Boisseron investigates the relationship between race and the animal in the history and culture of the Americas and the black Atlantic, exposing a hegemonic system that compulsively links and opposes blackness and animality to measure the value of life. She analyzes the association between black civil disobedience and canine repression, a history that spans the era of slavery through the use of police dogs against protesters during the civil rights movement of the 1960s to today in places like Ferguson, Missouri. She also traces the lineage of blackness and the animal in Caribbean literature and struggles over minorities’ right to pet ownership alongside nuanced readings of Derrida and other French theorists. Drawing on recent debates on black lives and animal welfare, Afro-Dog reframes the fast-growing interest in human–animal relationships by positioning blackness as a focus of animal inquiry, opening new possibilities for animal studies and black studies to think side by side.
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Assata Taught by:Donna Murch
Black Panther and Cuban exile, Assata Shakur, has inspired multiple generations of radical protest, including our contemporary Black Lives Matter movement. Drawing its title from one of America’s foremost revolutionaries this collection of thought-provoking essays by award-winning Panther scholar Donna Murch explores how social protest is challenging our current system of state violence and mass incarceration.
Murch exposes the devastating consequences of overlapping punishment campaigns against gangs, drugs, and crime on poor and working- class populations of color. Through largely hidden channels, it is these punishment campaigns, Murch says, that generate enormous revenues for the state. Under such difficult conditions, organized resistance to the advancing tide of state violence and incarceration has proved difficult.
This timely and urgent book shows how a youth-led political movement has emerged since the killing of Trayvon Martin that challenges the bi-partisan consensus on punishment and looks to the future through a redistributive, queer, and feminist lens. Murch frames the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement in relation to earlier struggles for Black Liberation, while excavating the origins of mass incarceration and the political economy that drives it.
Assata Taught Me offers a fresh and much-needed historical perspective on the fifty years since the founding of the Black Panther Party, in which the world’s largest police state has emerged.
Donna Murch is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is the author of Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California.
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Unhinged by:Omarosa Manigault Newman
The former Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump White House provides an eye-opening look into the corruption and controversy of the current administration.
Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account.
A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.
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Blessed By Malakai by:Sherelle Green
Every man has his weakness. For prominent painter and sculptor Malakai Madden, that weakness has always been women. Now, he’s finally ready to settle down and shower one woman with his love. There’s just one major problem. Overnight, he’s gained thousands of Twitter followers after his obsessive ex decides to leak some private information. To make matters worse, a well-known media source retweets them! Suddenly, every woman wants a piece of Malakai. And when the #BlessedByMalakai hashtag starts trending, he’s dodging women left and right, and blocking his crotch like he’s secret service securing the president. If he’s ever going to get his life back and find his future wife, he needs to solve this problem and he needs to solve it fast!
Image consultant Avery Nightingale can’t believe she’s landed a meeting with a huge potential client. She knows all about the #BlessedByMalakai hashtag and she’s ready to pitch her ideas. However, when she meets the man behind the Twitter legend, she’s rendered speechless and Mr. Make You Moan is not impressed. He agrees to hire her on one condition. Avery must promise not to feed into the social media craze as others have failed to accomplish before her. She agrees. After all, it’s just one rule, right?
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Tempted By You (Falling for a Rose) (Volume 9) by:Stephanie Nicole Norris
Being a part of one of the wealthiest families in Chicago, Jasmine Alexandria Rose has been thrown into the spotlight ever since her conception. In addition to being one-third of a set of well-known triplets, Jasmine is also the famous face of a daytime soap opera and has more notoriety than one could ever want. But it’s not the glowing lights, prestigious awards, or reigning celebrity that sends her pulse into overdrive and sizzles her flesh right down to its core. The man behind this cacophony of a conundrum is none other than her brothers’ best friend, and though she can never see her life with anyone other than him, Jasmine’s hesitation continues to stall the love that she craves.
Mayoral candidate Luke Steele is a professor at the University of Chicago. Growing up on the South Side has galvanized Luke’s desire to make a difference in his city, and he’s decided if he wants to see change, he’ll have to become that driving force. However, there is another stimulus that drives the very motor that runs the beat of his heart, and she is a supposed forbidden fruit that Luke has yet to taste. Tempted by her, Luke is ready to risk it all for the possibility of love everlasting, and the only one that stands in his way is the object of his affection, Jasmine.
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Fresh Ink Edited by:Lamar Giles
All it takes to rewrite the rules is a little fresh ink in this remarkable YA anthology from thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors writing today including Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, Melissa de la Cruz, and many more, and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. This collection features ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. It will give readers the opportunity to discover how the next chapter is up to them.
Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.
Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.
Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play about topics like gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty and ranging in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.
AUTHORS INCLUDE: Schuyler Bailar, Melissa de la Cruz, Sara Farizan, Sharon G. Flake, Eric Gansworth, Malindo Lo, Walter Dean Myers, Daniel José Older, Thien Pham, Jason Reynolds, Aminah Mae Safi, Gene Luen Yang, Nicola Yoon
Ages: 12 And Up, Grades: 7 And Up
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Our Stories, Our Voices Edited by:Amy Reed
From Amy Reed, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, Sandhya Menon, and more of your favorite YA authors comes an anthology of essays that explore the diverse experiences of injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America.
This collection of twenty-one essays from major YA authors—including award-winning and bestselling writers—touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today’s America, and the intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity to anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman’s shelf.
This anthology features essays from Martha Brockenbrough, Jaye Robin Brown, Sona Charaipotra, Brandy Colbert, Somaiya Daud, Christine Day, Alexandra Duncan, Ilene Wong (I.W.) Gregorio, Maurene Goo. Ellen Hopkins, Stephanie Kuehnert, Nina LaCour, Anna-Marie LcLemore, Sandhya Menon, Hannah Moskowitz, Julie Murphy, Aisha Saeed, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Amber Smith, and Tracy Walker.
Ages: 14 And Up, Grades: 9 And Up
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So Done by:Paula Chase
When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program. A memorably raw story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls. For fans of Jason Reynolds’s Ghost and Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger.
Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers. In Pirate’s Cove–a low-income housing project in Texas–Mila’s single father does everything he can to support his kids and his community. Tai lives across the street with her grandmother, who is the only family she needs. As summer comes to a close, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and Mila is different when she returns, seeming to put all her energy toward the upcoming dance auditions for the new talented-and-gifted program.
Paula Chase’s middle grade debut is driven by universal themes of friendship and budding romance, while also exploring complex issues that affect many young teens. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirate’s Cove, Paula Chase’s memorable novel is perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich’s and Audrey Vernick’s Two Naomis.
Ages: 8 to 12, Grades: 3 to 7
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And Then There Was You (Malibu Hearts) (Volume 1) by:Cheryl Barton
“And Then There Was You,” is a steamy love story, set in Malibu, California. Diezel Wilder is a sexy corporate attorney from New York who recently moved to California after a bitter divorce from a woman he married on a whim after going through a tragedy that caused him to act out. In need of a break from the drama that surrounded him in New York, he hoped for a new start in sunny California.
Brooklyn Hunter, a sexy Armenian bombshell, is a late-night, on-air radio talk show host who woos men all over the country with her sexy, sultry, seductive voice. She’s coming off of a divorce from a movie studio executive who is twenty years older. When they met, she saw him as her escape from a dismal life in Nebraska, but found herself thrust into the Hollywood spotlight, revealing a marriage clouded by adultery and out of wedlock children in a scandal that was broadcast worldwide.
Seeking a new lease on life, Diezel and Brooklyn are in search of the kind of connection with a mate that leaves them breathless. Little did they know they would find it right next door.