Our recommendations for this month include kids' end of summer and back to school books, plus fictional and true stories about the struggle to belong and simply survive.
Young Children (Up to 2nd Grade)
I Got The School Spirit written by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Murphy
Summer is over, and this little girl has got the school spirit! She packs up her book bag—ZIP ZIP!—and hears the school bus coming down the street—VROOM VROOM! She shares her school spirit with a new friend and sings it in the classroom—123! ABC! And at the end of the day, she can’t wait for her next day of school.
Older Children (3rd Grade to 6th Grade)
Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno
A title that explores resisting, accepting, and navigating change; in other words "getting used to the new normal." Summer is 12-years old, averse to change, and was found alone on the beach 10 years previously by her adoptive Mom, Lindy, with whom Summer now has a close relationship. That tight bond is tested when Lindy invites her boyfriend to move into their oceanfront home, causing Summer to passively resist the new normal. A reckless, solo swim triggers Summer's vivid dream about a strange girl: Tink, another out-of-sorts adolescent. Like Tink, Summer feels pushed out. She recognizes that seawater prompts her dreams and she actively seeks them out. Even more, Summer wants to know her own story—who left her on the beach? Why? The discovery that her detailed dreams reflect actual places and events motivate her to seek more. Like the adolescents in her dreams, Summer grapples with disconcerting changes while uncovering her own past. What she learns and discovers becomes an involving, bracing "Summer" tale for all seasons.
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
This is a debut novel in verse, in the style of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds. Candice Iloh's book tells the story of Ada—daughter of an immigrant father and an African American mother—and her struggle to find a place for herself in America and in her own family.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine, studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. A deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief—a novel about faith, science, religion, and love.
You Ought to Do a Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption by Ted Jackson
In 1990, while covering a story about homelessness for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Ted Jackson encountered a half-naked drug addict sleeping under a bridge. After snapping a photo, Jackson woke the man. Pointing to the daily newspaper by his feet, the homeless stranger looked the photojournalist in the eye and said, "You ought to do a story about me." When Ted asked why, he was stunned by the answer. "Because, I’ve played in three Super Bowls." That chance meeting was the start of Ted’s thirty-year relationship with Jackie Wallace, a former NFL star who rose to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, only to crash and lose it all. Getting to know Jackie, Ted learned the details of his life, and how he spiraled into the "vortex of darkness" that left him addicted and living on the streets of New Orleans.
Show Them You're Good: A Portrait of Boys in the City of Angels the Year Before College by Jeff Hobbs
This work stunningly captures the challenges and triumphs of being a young person confronting the future—both their own and the cultures in which they live—in contemporary America. Focusing on four teenage male high school seniors at two very different schools within the city of Los Angeles, Hobbs takes us deep inside these boys' worlds as they apply to college, take exams and AP classes, pursue after-school activities, and deal with more personal issues. He combines complex social issues with the compelling experience of the individual and offers a rare group portrait of well-rounded, hardworking male teenagers focused on college and securing a bright future. This masterwork of immersive journalism, both intimate and profound, is filled with portraits of secondary characters including friends, peers, parents, teachers, and girlfriends. This humanizing immigration story expands the scope of our understanding of the lives and struggles of immigrant youth at a time when they’re under near-constant threat of dehumanization. It is destined to ignite conversations about class, race, expectations, cultural divides, and even the concept of fate. It examines life in L.A., the country’s political landscape, the flaws of the American higher education system, and the rites of passage from boyhood into manhood.
You can find these new titles and many more great ebooks, audiobooks, streaming movies and music in our catalog!