{New Releases} February 3 – 9, 2020

We Keep Us Safe by:Zach Norris
A groundbreaking new vision for public safety that overturns more than 200 years of fear-based discrimination, othering, and punishment

As the effects of aggressive policing and mass incarceration harm historically marginalized communities and tear families apart, how do we define safety? In a time when the most powerful institutions in the United States are embracing the repressive and racist systems that keep many communities struggling and in fear, we need to reimagine what safety means. Community leader and lawyer Zach Norris lays out a radical way to shift the conversation about public safety away from fear and punishment and toward growth and support systems for our families and communities. In order to truly be safe, we are going to have to dismantle our mentality of Us vs. Them. By bridging the divides and building relationships with one another, we can dedicate ourselves to strategic, smart investments–meaning resources directed toward our stability and well-being, like healthcare and housing, education and living-wage jobs. This is where real safety begins.

We Keep Us Safe is a blueprint of how to hold people accountable while still holding them in community. The result reinstates full humanity and agency for everyone who has been dehumanized and traumatized, so they can participate fully in life, in society, and in the fabric of our democracy.
Release: 2/4/20
Click to Read: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

The Girl with the Louding Voice by:Abi Dare
A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to get an education so that she can escape and choose her own future.

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a “louding voice”—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni’s father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.

When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.

But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can—in a whisper, in song, in broken English—until she is heard.
Release: 2/4/20
Click to Read: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

Everywhere You Don’t Belong by:Gabriel Bump
In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant—he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home.

Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.

Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.
Release: 2/4/20
Click to Read: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

Remembered by: Yvonne Battle-Felton
It is 1910 and Philadelphia is burning.

The last place Spring wants to be is in the rundown, coloured section of a hospital surrounded by the groans of sick people and the ghost of her dead sister. But as her son Edward lays dying, she has no other choice.

There are whispers that Edward drove a streetcar into a shop window. Some people think it was an accident, others claim that it was his fault, the police are certain that he was part of a darker agenda. Is he guilty? Can they find the truth?

All Spring knows is that time is running out. She has to tell him the story of how he came to be. With the help of her dead sister, newspaper clippings and reconstructed memories, she must find a way to get through to him. To shatter the silences that her governed her life, she will do everything she can to lead him home.
Release: 2/4/20
Click to Read: (Hardcover) or (Paperback)

The Toni Morrison Book Club by:Judy Bennett
In this startling group memoir, four friends—black and white, gay and straight, immigrant and American-born—use Toni Morrison’s novels as a springboard for intimate and revealing conversations about the problems of everyday racism and living whole in times of uncertainty. Tackling everything from first love and Soul Train to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the authors take up what it means to read challenging literature collaboratively and to learn in public as an act of individual reckoning and social resistance.

Framing their book club around collective secrets, the group bears witness to how Morrison’s works and words can propel us forward while we sit with uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and identity. How do we make space for black vulnerability in the face of white supremacy and internalized self-loathing? How do historical novels speak to us now about the delicate seams that hold black minds and bodies together?

This slim and brilliant confessional offers a radical vision for book clubs as sites of self-discovery and communal healing. The Toni Morrison Book Club insists that we find ourselves in fiction and think of Morrison as a spiritual guide to our most difficult thoughts and ideas about American literature and life.
Release: 2/4/20
Click to Read: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Parable of the Brown Girl by:Khristi Lauren Adams
The stories of girls of color are often overlooked, unseen, and ignored rather than valued and heard. In Parable of the Brown Girl, minister and youth advocate Khristi Lauren Adams introduces readers to the resilience, struggle, and hope held within these stories. Instead of relegating these young women of color to the margins, Adams bring their stories front and center where they belong. By sharing encounters she’s had with girls of color that revealed profound cultural and theological truths, Adams magnifies the struggles, dreams, wisdom, and dignity of these voices. Thought-provoking and inspirational, Parable of the Brown Girl is a powerful example of how God uses the narratives we most often ignore to teach us the most important lessons in life. It’s time to pay attention.
Release: 2/4/20
Click to Read: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Yes Sisters by:Angelia L. White
A single “no” from someone close to us can crush our dreams. You can’t . . . You’ll never . . . You’re kidding yourself . . . In contrast, a single “yes” can sustain our dreams despite the setbacks we’re sure to encounter. Yes, you can! Yes, I’m here for you!

With passion and contagious enthusiasm, Angelia White shows you how to surround yourself with Yes Sisters–women who will remind you that you are worthy, that God loves you completely, and that you can accomplish even your wildest dreams. Her engaging personal stories, as well as those from other prominent women, will show you how to

– find and cultivate Yes Sister relationships
– leverage their power
– and be a Yes Sister for someone else

She also helps you understand, forgive, and sometimes distance yourself from negative people who dampen your joy and strip you of your motivation.

You don’t have to go it alone, and you don’t have to drag the naysayers along behind you. Start finding your Yes Sisters today!
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Claim Your Crown by:Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien
Young women are deeply dissatisfied with society’s standards (and double standards). They want more for themselves–but sometimes they don’t quite know what that more should be. That’s where Miss Black New Jersey 2018 and Teen Vogue “It Girl” turned fashion writer Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien comes in.

Through her insightful comments on media, pop culture, and pervading cultural myths about beauty, fashion, and womanhood, Tarah-Lynn dismantles the messages that feed into the insecurities, fears, doubts, and guilt that young women experience today. She introduces them to an understanding of God as a loving Father and the King of all kings, who bestows upon his daughters a crown of love, worth, and power. And she shows them how to not only claim the promises of God but also walk purposefully in them as independent women (no prince necessary!) who respond to adversity with righteousness and authority.
Release: 2/4/20
Ages: 14 to 17
Click to Read: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Deathless Divide by:Justina Ireland
The sequel to the New York Times bestselling epic Dread Nation is an unforgettable journey of revenge and salvation across a divided America.

After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother.

But nothing is easy when you’re a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodemus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880s America.

What’s more, this safe haven is not what it appears—as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her.

But she won’t be in it alone.

Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by—and that Jane needs her too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not.

Watching Jane’s back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it’s up to Katherine to keep hope alive—even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.
Release: 2/4/20
Ages: 14 And Up, Grades: 9 And Up
Click to Read: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

The Big Buna Bash by:Sara C. Arnold
When Almaz makes a mistake in school, she’s really embarrassed! Other kids tease her because they don’t understand her Ethiopian culture. How can she use her family’s traditions to make friends? She needs to host a BIG BUNA BASH!
Release: 2/5/20
Ages: 5 – 8; Grade: K – 3
Click to Read: (Kindle); (Hardcover); (Paperback)

Brown Sugar Babe by:Charlotte Watson Sherman
When a little girl has doubts about the color of her skin, her mother shows her all the wonderful, beautiful things brown can be! This message of self-love and acceptance uses rich, dreamy illustrations to celebrate the color using all the senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing.

“I don’t want to be brown!” says a little girl about her skin. But so many beautiful things in the world are brown — calming beaches, cute animals, elegant violins, and more. Brown is musical. Brown is athletic. Brown is poetic. Brown is powerful! Through lyrical words and stunning illustrations, it soon becomes clear that this brown sugar babe should be proud of the skin she’s in.
Release: 2/4/20
Ages: 4 – 8 years; Grade: Preschool – 3
Click to Read: (Hardcover)

I Am a Promise by:Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce
I Am a Promise takes readers on Shelly Ann’s journey from her childhood in the tough inner-city community of Waterhouse in Kingston, Jamaica, through her development as a young athlete, to her first Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter sprint in 2008.

The story charts how Shelly Ann’s commitment to hard work as well as the encouragement of loved ones helped her achieve her dreams against great odds and challenging life experiences. Most importantly, I Am a Promise encourages young readers to believe in themselves and to maximize their own promise to the world.
Release: 2/4/20
Ages: 4 – 8 years; Grade: Preschool – 3
Click to Read: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Beautiful Shades of Brown by:Nancy Churnin
Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn’t see any artists who looked like her. She didn’t see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC’s National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured.
Release: 2/4/20
Age: 6 to 11; Grades: 1 to 4
Get the Book: (Hardcover)

Her Twin Baby Secret by:Therese Beharrie
Could her biggest competition… become her babies’ father?

Alexa Moore is the definition of empowered and independent. She runs her own successful business and she’s decided to start the family she’s longed-for—by herself! But after business rival Benjamin Foster comes to her rescue and pretends to be her boyfriend for a night, their earth-shattering kiss sparks Alexa’s desire to share much more with him… can she find her Happily-Ever-After with this unexpected love?
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Mass Market Paperback) or (Kindle)

Blame It on the Billionaire by:Naima Simone
A dramatic chemistry-filled contemporary romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Naima Simone.

She fell into his arms… now she’s falling for his trap.
Will a blackout change everything for these unlikely lovers?

It was a night filled with secrets, lies…and soul-stealing passion. And now the blackout that turned lowly executive assistant Nadia Jordan and start-up billionaire Grayson Chandler into insatiable lovers leads to a proposal Nadia can’t refuse. As she steps into Grayson’s privileged Chicago world, will his matchmaking mother and vengeful ex destroy her dreams? Or will her fake fiancé make those dreams a reality?
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Mass Market Paperback) or (Kindle)

Black Sunday by:Tola Rotimi Abraham
Following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling’s search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life
“I like the idea of a god who knows what it’s like to be a twin. To have no memory of ever being alone.”

Twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike are enjoying a relatively comfortable life in Lagos in 1996. Then their mother loses her job due to political strife, and the family, facing poverty, becomes drawn into the New Church, an institution led by a charismatic pastor who is not shy about worshipping earthly wealth.

Soon Bibike and Ariyike’s father wagers the family home on a “sure bet” that evaporates like smoke. As their parents’ marriage collapses in the aftermath of this gamble, the twin sisters and their two younger siblings, Andrew and Peter, are thrust into the reluctant care of their traditional Yoruba grandmother. Inseparable while they had their parents to care for them, the twins’ paths diverge once the household shatters. Each girl is left to locate, guard, and hone her own fragile source of power.

Written with astonishing intimacy and wry attention to the fickleness of fate, Tola Rotimi Abraham’s Black Sunday takes us into the chaotic heart of family life, tracing a line from the euphoria of kinship to the devastation of estrangement. In the process, it joyfully tells a tale of grace and connection in the midst of daily oppression and the constant incursions of an unremitting patriarchy. This is a novel about two young women slowly finding, over twenty years, in a place rife with hypocrisy but also endless life and love, their own distinct methods of resistance and paths to independence.
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

King and the Dragonflies by:Kacen Callender
Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.

It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. “You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too, do you?”

But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King’s friendship with Sandy is reignited, he’s forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother’s death.

The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one’s identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.
Release: 2/4/20
Ages: 8 to 12, Grades: 3 to 7
Get the Book: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

A Girl Like Me by:Angela Johnson
“Once I dreamed I swam / the ocean / and saw everything deep,
cool / and was part of the waves. / I swam on by the people / onshore /
hollering, / ‘A girl like you needs to / stay out of the water / and be dry /
like everyone else.'”

Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and Nina Crews’s distinctive photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color.
Release: 2/4/20
Ages: 8 to 9, Grades: K to 4
Get the Book: (Kindle) or (Library Binding)

Race Against Time by:Jerry Mitchell
On June 21, 1964, more than twenty Klansmen murdered three civil rights workers. The killings, in what would become known as the “Mississippi Burning” case, were among the most brazen acts of violence during the Civil Rights Movement. And even though the killers’ identities, including the sheriff’s deputy, were an open secret, no one was charged with murder in the months and years that followed.

It took forty-one years before the mastermind was brought to trial and finally convicted for the three innocent lives he took. If there is one man who helped pave the way for justice, it is investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell.

In Race Against Time, Mitchell takes readers on the twisting, pulse-racing road that led to the reopening of four of the most infamous killings from the days of the Civil Rights Movement, decades after the fact. His work played a central role in bringing killers to justice for the assassination of Medgar Evers, the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham and the Mississippi Burning case. Mitchell reveals how he unearthed secret documents, found long-lost suspects and witnesses, building up evidence strong enough to take on the Klan. He takes us into every harrowing scene along the way, as when Mitchell goes into the lion’s den, meeting one-on-one with the very murderers he is seeking to catch. His efforts have put four leading Klansmen behind bars, years after they thought they had gotten away with murder.

Race Against Time is an astonishing, courageous story capturing a historic race for justice, as the past is uncovered, clue by clue, and long-ignored evils are brought into the light. This is a landmark book and essential reading for all Americans.
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

The Worst Best Man by:Mia Sosa
Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy #ownvoices enemies-to-lovers novel, perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!

A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Paperback)

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics by: Deborah Riley Draper, Blair Underwood, Travis Thrasher
Discover the astonishing, inspirational, and largely unknown true story of the eighteen African American athletes who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, defying the racism of both Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South.

Set against the turbulent backdrop of a segregated United States, sixteen black men and two black women are torn between boycotting the Olympic Games in Nazi Germany or participating. If they go, they would represent a country that considered them second-class citizens and would compete amid a strong undercurrent of Aryan superiority that considered them inferior. Yet, if they stayed, would they ever have a chance to prove them wrong on a global stage? To be better than anyone ever expected?

Five athletes, full of discipline and heart, guide readers through this harrowing and inspiring journey. There’s a young and sometimes feisty Tidye Pickett from Chicago, whose lithe speed makes her the first African American woman to compete in the Olympic Games; a quiet Louise Stokes from Malden, Massachusetts, who breaks records across the Northeast with humble beginnings training on railroad tracks. We find Mack Robinson in Pasadena, California, setting an example for his younger brother, Jackie Robinson; and the unlikely competitor Archie Williams, a lanky book-smart teen in Oakland takes home a gold medal. Then there’s Ralph Metcalfe, born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, who becomes the wise and fierce big brother of the group. Drawing on over five years of research, Draper and Thrasher bring to life a timely story of perseverance and the will to beat unsurmountable odds.

From burning crosses set on the Robinsons’s lawn to a Pennsylvania small town on fire with praise and parades when the athletes return from Berlin, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice is full of emotion, grit, political upheaval, and the American dream. Capturing a powerful and untold chapter of history, the narrative is also a celebration of the courage, commitment, and accomplishments of these talented athletes and their impact on race, sports and inclusion around the world.
Release: 2/4/20
Get the Book: (Kindle); (Audiobook); (Hardcover)

What Books Are You Buying This Week? Let Us Know Below!

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