Stories shape our lives, the way we see ourselves, and the world around us. For Alice Lovett, a story she cannot remember but one that is nevertheless entwined into her life by the tales of the boys whose reputations were on the line follows her and those involved into adulthood. In the hands of a brilliant new voice, what happened that night is woven into an innovative, gut-wrenching, feminist novel that is an incredibly important piece of the #metoo movement. Read it!
Boys of Alabama weaves the complexity of coming of age in a toxic masculine culture with elements of magic, a queer love story, and a desire for faith that leads perilously close to self-destruction. Max and his parents move to Alabama from Germany after a tragedy that leaves Max emotionally scarred, but his powerful running gains him entrance into the exclusive high school football team's in-group. The boys are closely connected with the seductively charismatic Judge, a man whose story of personal resurrection gives him a power in the community and local evangelical church that is indisputable, and in Hudson's able hands, completely terrifying. And then there is Pan, a local kid who wears makeup and fishnet stockings, a boy with the strength to express his queerness with no reservation in a place that only "sometimes tolerates" it. Beautifully written and utterly compelling!
James McBride takes human beings in all their glory and shame, with all their flaws and loveliness painted boldly, and makes you love them. Henry Shackelford, a young slave in the Kansas Territory in 1856, a battleground for abolitionists and pro-slavers, is swept into the controversy by the mythic John Brown, but for Henry and the other slaves and freed Blacks we meet on his journey, the decision to follow the abolitionists is not as simple as it would seem. John Brown, fueled by the immensity of his belief that God could never sanction slavery and therefore would protect and guide he and his followers, reveals that insanity, framed by a brutal system of injustice, is indeed the most sane course of action. A history lesson couched in human love and frailty, there are important lessons here for our own times. Read it before the Showtime series comes out in October because you KNOW the book is better ;)
Night Marchers, gods, goddesses, and the dead all walk Hawaii with the Flores family, if only they can stop struggling to survive long enough to see them. At seven years old, Nainoa falls into the Pacific only to be brought back to his mother in the mouth of a shark, unharmed and now burdened with the rumor of legend. Noa struggles to understand his gift and what he supposed to do with it, and each of his family members grapples with their role as well. Every character is imbued with the truths of family and the magic of legend, and you will not close this book unchanged. Beautiful and a must-read!
Even before this new crisis, people were coming into the store asking for books that gave hope and this was one of the books I gave them. I'm not a runner, but my name is Sherman and donkeys have held a special place in my life since I was a kid, so when I saw this book I decided I had to give it a shot, and I'm so grateful! This is a book about Sherman, a donkey on the doorstep of death who McDougall's family rescued from a hoarder. But giving Sherman friends, a purpose, and reasons to push on turned this little guy into a competitor in the Colorado Burro races. The beauty of this book, however, is in the constant reminder that there are ways to overcome all kinds of difficulty and the power resides in our own will and our relationships with others. Important book for us all, right now. Believe!