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WALLY FUNK’S RACE FOR SPACE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Wally Funk's Race for Space by Sue Nelson

Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to complete NASA’s 1961 Women in Space program. Funk breezed through the rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating those of many of the male candidates—even John Glenn. Just one week before Funk was to enter the final phase of training, the entire program was abruptly cancelled. Politics and prejudice meant that none of the more-than-qualified women ever went to space. Undeterred, Funk went on to become one of America’s first female aviation inspectors and civilian flight instructors, though her dream of being an astronaut never dimmed.

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THE QUINTLAND SISTERS

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood

For fans of Sold on a Monday or The Home for Unwanted Girls, Shelley Wood’s novel tells the story of the Dionne Quintuplets, the world’s first identical quintuplets to survive birth, told from the perspective of a midwife in training who helps bring them into the world.

Reluctant midwife Emma Trimpany is just 17 when she assists at the harrowing birth of the Dionne quintuplets: five tiny miracles born to French farmers in hardscrabble Northern Ontario in 1934. Emma cares for them through their perilous first days and when the government decides to remove the babies from their francophone parents,

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NO ASHES IN THE FIRE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is No Ashes In The Fire by Darnell Moore

From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire,

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A THOUSAND SISTERS

thousand sisters

The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II—from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity

In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country in the world to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, these three regiments, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—nicknamed the “night witches”—faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground. Some of these young women perished in flames. Many of them were in their teens when they went to war.

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LITTLE DANCER AGED FOURTEEN

little dancer

This absorbing, heartfelt work uncovers the story of the real dancer behind Degas’s now-iconic sculpture, and the struggles of late nineteenth-century Parisian life. 

She is famous throughout the world, but how many know her name? You can admire her figure in Washington, Paris, London, New York, Dresden, or Copenhagen, but where is her grave? We know only her age, fourteen, and the work that she did—because it was already grueling work, at an age when children today are sent to school. In the 1880s, she danced as a “little rat” at the Paris Opera, and what is often a dream for young girls now wasn’t a dream for her.

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RISE UP!

Rise Up

This lively book, from one of America’s best known theatre critics, tells the story of Broadway’s renaissance from the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, through the disaster that was Spiderman: Turn off the Dark to the unparalleled success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Through a loving look at some of our most well-known plays, Chris Jones shows that the theatre thrived by embracing bold statements and taking part in the national conversation.

Jones was in the theatres when and where it mattered. He takes readers from the moment Tony Kushner’s angel crashed through the ceiling of prejudice and intolerance to the triumph of Hamilton,

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