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HOME AFTER DARK

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Home After Dark by David Small

Since the publication of Stitches a decade ago, David Small has emerged as one of the seminal authors in the genre of graphic literature. Here, in Home After Dark, a Boston Globe Best Book of 2018, Small provides a “painfully honest” and “haunting work of unfolding surprise” (Jules Feiffer) that renders the brutality of adolescence in the 1950s. Through “gorgeous and expressive drawings” (Roz Chast), Small “recaptures the inchoate chaos of youth” (Jack Gantos), telling the story of thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt, who, abandoned by his mother, follows his father to the sun-splashed land of California in search of a dream.

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DOMINICANA

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable,

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I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers.

Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her.

Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about?

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BECOMING BEATRIZ

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Becoming Beatriz by Tami Charles

It’s Beatriz’s quinceañera, and she is ready to be treated like royalty. But when her brother, the leader of the Diablos, is gunned down by a rival gang, Beatriz will never be the same again. Her dreams of dancing, her hopes for fame, and her love of music died with Junito.

But when handsome brainiac, Nasser, asks her to join a dance competition with him—one that could land them both a role on Beatriz’s favorite TV show, Fame—Beatriz starts to feel the music again. And Nasser makes her feel alive again. But with her Mami practically catatonic with grief,

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HERE WE ARE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Here We Are by Aarti Namdev Shahani

A heartfelt memoir about the immigrant experience from NPR correspondent Aarti Shahani, Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares follows the lives of Aarti, the precocious scholarship kid at one of Manhattan’s most elite prep schools, and her dad, the shopkeeper who mistakenly sells watches and calculators to the notorious Cali drug cartel. Together, the two represent the extremes that coexist in our country, even within a single family, and a truth about immigrants that gets lost in the headlines. It isn’t a matter of good or evil; it’s complicated. Here We Are is a coming-of-age story,

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GOODBYE, MY HAVANA

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Goodbye, My Havana by Anna Veltfort

Set against a backdrop of world-changing events during the headiest years of the Cuban Revolution, Goodbye, My Havana follows Anna Veltfort’s young alter ego Connie as her once relatively privileged life among a community of anti-imperialist expatriates turns to progressive disillusionment and heartbreak. The consolidation of Castro’s position brings violence, cruelty, and betrayal to Connie’s doorstep. And the crackdown that ultimately forces her family and others to flee for their lives includes homosexuals among its targets—Connie’s coming-of-age story is one also about the dangers of coming out. Looking back with a mixture of hardheaded clarity and tenderness at her alter ego and a forgotten era,

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