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THE WATER DANCER

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness,

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STONE RIVER CROSSING

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Stone River Crossing by Tim Tingle

Martha Tom knows better than to cross the Bok Chitto River to pick blackberries. The Bok Chitto is the only border between her town in the Choctaw Nation and the slave-owning plantation in Mississippi territory. The slave owners could catch her, too. What was she thinking? But crossing the river brings a surprise friendship with Lil Mo, a boy who is enslaved on the other side. Lil Mo discovers that his mother is about to be sold and the rest of his family left behind. But Martha Tom has the answer: cross the Bok Chitto and become free.

Crossing to freedom with his family seems impossible with slave catchers roaming,

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INDIAN NO MORE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis

Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde Tribe’s reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian no more” overnight–even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.

Now that they’ve been forced from their homeland, Regina’s father signs the family up for the federal Indian Relocation Program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place.

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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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THERE THERE

One of our recommended books for 2019 is There There by Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, utterly contemporary and always unforgettable.

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THE ROSIE RESULT

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

In The Rosie Project, the first book in the trilogy, Don Tillman gives a lecture on Asperger’s Syndrome. This sets up the premise that Don has autistic traits but doesn’t recognize them in himself. By the end of The Rosie Result, though, both Don and his son Hudson identify as autistic.

If the storylines in The Rosie Result center on Don’s challenges in trying to parent a son who shares many similarities with him, the novel’s main theme is labeling and identity. The book directly questions many people’s assumptions about autism.

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