Read Black Writers: Juneteenth Edition  
Read It!

Read Black Writers: Juneteenth Edition 
by Elizabeth

Happy Juneteenth! Tomorrow is the last day of #BlackoutBestseller week, a challenge to fill the bestseller list with the exceptional work of Black authors. As demonstrators across the nation seek justice for victims like Breonna Taylor and Aurora’s own Elijah McClain, the relevance of Black authors is greater than ever. But maybe, with COVID-19, you’re a little low on spending money and unable to participate in a bestseller buyout. The library can help! Here are some incredible books by Black authors, both fiction and nonfiction, serious and funny and everywhere in between, all available immediately through our library’s Hoopla account.  


"The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander 

"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander

“More than 70 million Americans – over 20 percent of the entire U.S population, overwhelmingly poor and disproportionately people of color – now have criminal records that authorize legal discrimination for life.”  

For a well-researched look at why our justice system might need reform, check out "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander. If you want research, this book has it. Michelle Alexander is a professor, civil rights lawyer and legal scholar. Our library’s copy of "The New Jim Crow" has a tenth anniversary preface: these facts are still accurate today, which is an indictment of its own. 

Read this if: you’re looking for statistics, facts, numbers and other well-researched data to inform your knowledge of the protests 

Available through: Hoopla, curbside pickup 

If you like this, try: "When They Call You a Terrorist" by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
This memoir by a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement tells the heartbreaking story of her brother, a bipolar young man who ends up in jail instead of in a mental health care facility. His decline and inability to escape from the prison system is a difficult but eye-opening read.
Available on: Hoopla, OverDrive


"Parable of the Sower" by Octavia Butler 
Parable of the Sower

Before "The Hunger Games" and "The Handmaid’s Tale", there was Octavia Butler, the weirdest and coolest sci-fi writer you haven’t read yet. Octavia Butler’s got it all: vampires? Sure. Alien takeover? Absolutely. Time travel? Psychic abilities? Male alien pregnancy? You bet. And more!

Also: MAGA? Octavia Butler wrote a novel about a leader promising to “Make America Great Again” and a society haunted by violence in 1993. Those exact words. And get this: Parable of the Sower and the Earthseed series take place in the 2020s. There are two leaders in Butler’s haunted world, though: the other one is a young woman named Lauren Olamina with a special ability: hyper-empathy. She can feel other people’s pain and she believes that humans can still band together, survive and even make it into space.  

Read this if: you like weirdly prophetic science fiction novels or "Star Trek" 

Available through: Hoopla

Like this? Try that: "The City We Became" by N. K. Jemisin!
Jemisin is a literary genius and multi-award winner who writes of a New York plagued by alien invasion and saved by five ordinary people “chosen” to represent the city’s interests. Manhattan’s superpower is money; a college student in Queens saves the day using calculus, while a Bronx artist brings her best stomping boots to take out these intruders in her town. My favorite novel this year so far, which is saying something.
Available through: Overdrive, curbside pickup

 
"You Should See Me in a Crown" by Leah Johnson 
You Should See Me in a Crown

Liz Lighty isn’t really into prom. She’s got bigger plans: a fancy college, music in a famous orchestra and then a career as a doctor. Too bad that her financial aid falls through. Liz’s friends and brother come up with a new plan: there’s a scholarship for being prom queen, you see. Liz doesn’t love the spotlight: she’s poor, awkward and single, and really, aren’t prom queens for the popular crowd? But college’s a bigger goal. When Liz meets a cute new girl in the prom queen competition, she has a dilemma: chase her dreams or get the girl? Or – just maybe – both? 

Sometimes, you just want a book that’s the equivalent of a sunshine smoothie. Don’t worry. This charming rom-com will fill you from head to toe with warm fuzzies and leave you smiling.  Bonus: this is a queer book, so you can read it for Pride, or to support Black authors, or both! 

Read this if: you love fluffy, sweet teen romantic comedies and teen coming-of-age stories 

Available through: Hoopla, OverDrive

Like this? Read that: "The Field Guide to the North American Teenager" by Ben Philippe!
Norris Kaplan’s new to Texas, and he’s figuring out the playing field: Cheerleaders, Jocks, Loners. He’d rather observe these groups in their native habitats than actually jump in. But, when prom night goes horribly wrong, Norris has to reevaluate his life and choices. Maybe he’s started to make friends despite himself.
Available through: curbside pickup  

 

"Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky" by Kwame Mbalia 
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Love mythology, brave kids and heroic adventures? You’ll love "Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky" by Kwame Mbalia. Tristan’s best friend is dead and he left a glowing notebook behind. When the magical creature Gum Baby breaks into his house and steals the book, Tristan chases her into an adventure filled with mythological creatures. This story has John Henry, Brer Rabbit and Anansi, sure, but also myths you may not have heard of, all wrapped in a delicious world-saving package.  

"Tristan Strong" is published by Rick Riordan Presents, a publishing house dedicated to publishing books on every mythology in the world written by people who know that mythology inside and out. Any Rick Riordan fans know exactly what to expect here: heroes and page-turning adventures. I might like these even better than Percy Jackson, though, and I definitely like them more than Harry Potter. Check it out! 

Read this if: you’re interested in action, adventure, mythology and heroes 

Available through: Hoopla, curbside pickup

Like this? Read that: "The Jumbies" by Tracey Baptiste!
Corinne isn’t afraid of anything: not scorpions, not mean kids and definitely not jumbies. They’re just made up! But, when the jumbies try to take over Corinne’s island, she has to use all of her courage and a little magic to save her home. It’s the start of a series, just like Tristan Strong, so you’ll have plenty to enjoy!
Available through: Hoopla, Overdrive, curbside pickup  

 

"This Book is Anti-Racist" by Tiffany Jewell 
This Book is Anti-Racist

What does anti-racist mean? How can one person help in the face of terrible things? This teen-friendly book answers those questions and more. It’s interactive: readers can ask questions of themselves with 20 activities, learn all about the history of racism in multiple countries, and then find hope as they read about how people have resisted racism over the years. If you want to change the world, there are worse places to start! 

Read this: if you’re looking for a practical guide on how to deal with racism 

Available through: Hoopla, curbside pickup

Like this? Read that: "Antiracist Baby" by Ibram X. Kendi!
Ibram X. Kendi wrote the book on anti-racism, literally: his How to Be an Antiracist book is currently a number one bestseller. But if you’d rather have a friendlier picture book adaptation, accessible for kids and teens, Antiracist Baby is the way to go. This book lists nine easy ways to make a difference – and, most important, the baby on the cover is adorable.
Available through: Overdrive
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org On 19 June, 2020 at 5:03 PM  

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