Thought-provoking Stories

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

$10.99$4.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
This has been called "the Black Lives Matter novel," for good reason. At age 16, Starr Carter has lost two close friends to gun violence: one in a drive-by; one shot by a cop. The latter is the focus of this novel: Starr is in the passenger seat when her friend Khalil is fatally shot by a police officer. She is the sole witness. Thomas seamlessly blends current events with lower-stakes themes common to teens everywhere, with great success. Fun fact: the title comes from a Tupac lyric. Publication date: February 28. More info →
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At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe

As a homebody with a healthy dose of wanderlust, I've been fascinated by Tsh's around-the-world adventure since the moment I first heard about it. With her husband and three kids under ten, Tsh leaves the States behind to travel to China and Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, Croatia and Germany and England and everywhere in between, for nine solid months. I so enjoyed getting to tag along on her family's global adventures, which were nothing at all like I expected—both more strange and more familiar than I had imagined. Publication date: April 18. More info →
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This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is

$13.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
Hands-down, one of the best books I've read in a year (or five). This is a story about a family that, years ago, started keeping a little secret. And, as secrets tend to do, it became bigger over time, implicating all the family members in its keeping, until it felt like the secret was keeping them. I fell completely in love with Rosie and Penn, gained insight into a situation I thought had nothing to do with me, and had complicated feelings about the resolution. This is a terrific novel about an endearingly quirky family forced to make an impossible decisions. That title? It comes from the idea that parents frequently have to make terrifyingly important decisions about their kids with not enough information even though the stakes are enormous. If this sounds good to you, do NOT read the flap copy! Just pick it up and start reading—you'll be glad you did. Publication date: January 24. More info →
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Hum If You Don’t Know the Words

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words

In 1970s Johannesburg, race is everything, yet two people who are completely incompatible in apartheid-ruled South Africa are thrown together following the 1976 Soweto Uprising. After white police open fire on peacefully protesting black schoolchildren, 9-year-old Robin Conrad's life is shattered when her parents are killed in the backlash. Meanwhile, Beauty Mbali's daughter goes missing, and Beauty's search for her coincidentally lands her a job as Robin's caretaker. As time stretches on, Beauty grows to care deeply for this child she is being paid to "love," and Robin, while fiercely possessive of Beauty, is keenly aware her parents wouldn't approve of this relationship. Readers, take note: this didn’t grab me when I tried to read it on the Little League sidelines, but at home with a cup of tea it was engrossing. Publication date: July 11. More info →
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Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

Author:
Series: 2017 Summer Favorites, Book 3
Easily one of the best books I've read this year, and I don't expect that to change. I wouldn't have "gotten" this at 22 but adored it in my 30s. Time, memory, marriage—things many of us relate to, or can at least imagine—but Shapiro writes about them with such freshness the concepts seem brand new. My favorite line of exploration: the nature of mistakes, near-misses, and time: "The stumbles and falls; the lapses in judgment; the near misses; the could-haves. I’ve become convinced that our lives are shaped less by the mistakes we make than when we make them." If I were to judge my books by how many passages require book darts, this one wins everything. Publication date: April 11. More info →
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