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WALK THROUGH FIRE

One of our recommended books is Walk Through Fire by Yasmine S. Ali

The first book to examine the rarely-acknowledged Waverly Train Disaster of 1978 – the catastrophic accident that changed America forever and led to the formation of FEMA. Coinciding with the 45th anniversary of the event, WALK THROUGH FIRE is a tribute to the first responders, as well as an examination of the strengths and vulnerabilities in rural America.

On the night of February 22, 1978, a devastating freight train derailment drastically altered Waverly, Tennessee, and its place in history. This was one of the worst train explosions of the twentieth century, killing 16 people, injuring hundreds more,

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THE STORIES WHITENESS TELLS ITSELF

One of our recommended books is The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself by David Mura

The police murders of two Black men, Philando Castile and George Floyd, frame this searing exploration of the historical and fictional narratives that white America tells itself to justify and maintain white supremacy. From the country’s founding through the summer of Black Lives Matter in 2020, David Mura unmasks how white stories about race attempt to erase the brutality of the past and underpin systemic racism in the present.

Intertwining history, literature, ethics, and the deeply personal, Mura looks back to foundational narratives of white supremacy (Jefferson’s defense of slavery, Lincoln’s frequently minimized racism, and the establishment of Jim Crow) to show how white identity is based on shared belief in the pernicious myths,

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WALLS

One of our recommended books is Walls by L.M. Elliott

This powerful Cold War novel tells the story of two cousins, one German and the other an American Army brat, as they navigate the political and social turmoil that threatens their friendship and ends in the abrupt rise of the Berlin Wall–which may separate them forever.

Drew is an army brat, a hotshot athlete poised to be his high school’s star pitcher, when he has to move for the sixth time in fifteen years—this time to West Berlin, where American soldiers like his dad hold an outpost of democracy against communist Russia in Hitler’s former capital. Meanwhile, in East Berlin,

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RECKONING

One of our recommended books is Reckoning by V

The work of a lifetime from the Tony Award-winning, bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues-political, personal, profound, and more than forty years in the making.

The newest book from V (formerly Eve Ensler), Reckoning invites you to travel the journey of a writer’s and activist’s life and process over forty years, representing both the core of ideas that have become global movements and the methods through which V survived abuse and self-hatred. Seamlessly moving from the internal to the external, the personal to the political, Reckoning is a moving and inspiring work of prose,

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MOONRISE OVER NEW JESSUP

One of our recommended books is Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks

Winner of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, a thought-provoking and enchanting debut about a Black woman doing whatever it takes to protect all she loves at the beginning of the civil rights movement in Alabama.

It’s 1957, and after leaving the only home she has ever known, Alice Young steps off the bus into the all-Black town of New Jessup, Alabama, where residents have largely rejected integration as the means for Black social advancement. Instead, they seek to maintain, and fortify, the community they cherish on their “side of the woods.” In this place, Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell,

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THE SENSE OF WONDER

One of our recommended books is The Sense of Wonder by Matthew Salesses

From the author of PEN/Faulkner finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear and Craft in the Real World comes a “a smart, very meta take” (Kirkus Reviews) on the ways Asian Americans navigate the thorny worlds of sports and entertainment when everything is stacked against them.

An Asian American basketball star walks into a gym. No one recognizes him, but everyone stares anyway. It is the start of a joke but what is the punchline? When Won Lee, the first Asian American in the NBA, stuns the world in a seven-game winning streak, the global media audience dubs it “The Wonder”—much to Won’s chagrin.

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