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#titleauthoryear read5 StarsThoughts
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1276After LivesGurnah20224I wanted to love it, but I ended up just liking it a lot. Gurnah writes this beautiful story, that spans a few generations, in a former German colony of East Africa, focusing on the way of life there and how the First World War affected people in different ways.
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1275LegendbornDeonn20224Great twist on the Arthurian legends, with a Black teen discovering her own magical roots in the midst of a group of descendants of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table in the modern age.
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1274The House in the Cerulean SeaKlune20224Quirky but fun tale of an inspector dispatched to check on an orphanage designed for kids with magical, but somewhat scary, powers.
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1273A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and LifeSaunders20225George Saunders is such a master writer and teacher, and this book is essentially his writing class based on Russian short story writers. It truly is a joy to read, and it gives great insight into the craft of writing, with lessons for everyone about how to write, as well as lessons about life in general.
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1272Cemetery BoysThomas20224Very enjoyable story that blends lots of issues: Latin culture, transphobia, magical powers, and family dynamics.
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1271Why Fish Don't ExistMiller20224Lulu Miller explores the role and impact of David Staff Jordan, early biologist who helped to name hundreds of aquatic species and who ended up as the first president of Stanford University, but was also a big proponent of eugenics.
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1270Rashomon and other StoriesAkutagawa20224Akutagawa was a master of the short story, rivalling such people as Chekhov and Edgar Allen Poe.
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1269Travels with CharlieSteinbeck20225I found this Steinbeck story as a timeless classic roadtrip, even though it was written about 60 years ago!
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1268A Snake Falls to EarthLittle Badger20224Great blend of classic Native American legends and modern story telling.
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1267Revolution in Our TimeMagoon20225Well researched and compelling story about the history of the Black Panther Party!
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1266Felix Ever AfterCallender20224Felix is a real and complex character, and I really enjoyed this love story that shows how much high schoolers deal with nowadays -- especially trans kids even from others within the LGBTQ+ community.
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1265The CommittedNguyen20225Viet Nguyen is such an amazing writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed his follow-up to "The Sympathizer". His writing is so fresh and bold, and I always walk away thinking about the world differently.
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1264You Should See Me in a CrownJohnson20225So much going on in this book! It's got bullies, LGBTQ+, coming out, overcoming old-school traditions, being true to yourself, forgiveness. Primarily it's about a black, queer high school senior who runs for prom queen (despite hating the whole affair) because she needs the award money to pay for her college -- and so much happens as a result.
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1263Almost American GirlHa20224Well done graphic novel memoir about moving from South Korea to American and trying to adjust.
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1262How Beautiful We Were Mbue20225Another powerful and creative storytelling about the struggles of an west African village dealing with imperialism, capitalism, and survival.
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1261BewildermentPowers20225Powerful and tender story about a father and son, both struggling with the death of the mother, the issues surrounding the son's autism, and the destruction of our planet by humans.
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1260Firekeeper's DaughterBoulley20225I understand why this book won the Printz award, because it's an important story (how the meth epidemic ravaged our indigenous population) and it's written so well.
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1259The Round HouseErdrich20225I've been wanting to read a book by Louise Erdrich for a while, and this was a great one to start with. I admire her craft in writing, and this story of a native son investigating his mom's rape is very powerful.
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1258The Glass HotelSt. John Mandel20224Interesting story about a variety of characters connected through greed, fraud, art, death, and a glass hotel in Canada.
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1257The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the CenturyJohnson20224Fascinating look into the pursuit of rare feathers in the fly-tying communities, and the true story of a heist that continues to taint that community.
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1256The Lager Queen of MinnesotaStradal20224Very fun book, and a great set of characters and a wealth of knowledge about all the different types of ale (as well as a brief history of American lager and the rise of IPA here).
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1255Caste: The Origins of Our DiscontentsWilkerson20225As always, Wilkerson is spot on in how she can see what's there but hasn't actually been perceived before. Her explanation of the American view of race is intertwined with our own caste system explains so much, and, at the same time, shows how difficult it will be to eventually become a post-race society here.
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1254Klara and the SunIshiguro20225I really love Ishiguro's stories. They're so eerie, but scarily possible. This novel doesn't exactly ask the same kinds of ethical questions about androids as Blade Runner, Westworld, etc., but it does explore what goes on in the "mind" of these human-like robots.
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1253The StorytellerVargas Llosa20215I really didn't know what to expect, but I absolutely loved this novel about the native population of Peru. It really gets you thinking about how often good intentions can lead to negative consquences.
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1252The AnomalyLe Tellier20215Fascinating! It's like reading an episode of Black Mirror or Twilight Zone! Imagine what would happen if a plane took over in March, landed in March, then also landed again in June. How would the world respond? And those passengers that now have "twins"?
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1251This Is Your Mind on PlantsPollan20214Another Michael Pollan book, this one exploring human's cultivation and need for 3 categories of plants: opium, caffeine, and mescaline. As always, he brings a lot of history and human experience to these accounts.
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1250Cloud Cuckoo LandDoerr20214Mutliple complex stories, woven together by one of the great storytellers of our time.
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1249VanportMaben20213Not the best written history, but it's one of the few books about the rise and fall of the Vanport, at one time the second largest city in the state of Oregon.
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1248Behold the DreamersMbue20214Really gets you thinking about the "American Dream" -- and does it affect immigrants the way that they believe it will? Also, beautifully written.
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1247We Were Eight Years in Power: An American TragedyCoates20215Ta-Nehisi Coates' collection of essays he wrote during the Obama presidency (and the looming takeover of Donald Trump) are both insightful and beautifully written. He doesn't pull punches at all, and I just love anything he writes.
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1246The Best We Could DoBui20215Beautiful tribute that Thi Bui makes to her family, a graphic novel comparing her life in America to her family's refugee story from Vietnam.
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1245Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American FrontierStark20214Very interesting and well-documented history of the people and events in the early 19th century to establish Astoria as the world capital for fur-trading, and its legacy.
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1244Good Talk: a Memoir in ConversationJacob20215Wonderful, insightful, funny, and tragic. Mira Jacob uses the style of a graphic novel to share her personal stories of family, racism, and life in the 21st century.
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1243Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American HistoryGwynne20214Facinating look at the interactions between the people inhabiting Texas and the plains (Spanish, Mexican, American) and their interactions with powerful Comanche tribe.
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1242PachinkoLee20214Beautifully told novel about 4 generations of a Korean family then emigrates to Japan
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1241Lovely WarBerry20214Set during World War II, it's a love/war/music story that occurs during World War II, told from the point of view from the Greek gods of love (Aphrodite), war (Ares), music (Apollo), and death (Hades).
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1240The OverstoryPowers20215Simply wow! Eight people's stories all intertwined through the power of trees. You will never view trees, forests, or fauna in general the same after.
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1239The Fire is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in AmericaBuccola20214Quasi-biography, quasi-history, telling how the lives of liberal James Baldwin and conservative William F. Buckley intertwined in the late 50s and early 60s, during the civil rights movements.
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1238Anxious PeopleBackman20215Such an amazing book! It's a story about a bank robbery gone wrong, or maybe it's about a bridge, or maybe it's just about the human story. Backman is one of the greatest story-tellers of our age.
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1237Butterfly YellowLai20214Vietnamese refugee girl in Texas, looking for her younger brother, helped out by a wannabe Texan "cowboy".
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1236All Boys Aren't BlueJohnson20214Great YA memoir about the life of a black trans teen, helping to understand how challenging his life was but how much family and love helped.
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1235We Are Not FreeChee20214Beautifully told fictional story of 4 different Japanese-American families and their incarceration during World War II, focusing on how it affected the teens differently.
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1234Another BrooklynWoodson20214Jacqueline Woodson uses her beautiful style of writing to tell a wonderful story of a woman reflecting on the rough time she had growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s.
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1233One Of The Good OnesMoulite20214One of those multiple POV stories about what happens to a family of three sisters after one meets a tragic fate in the hands of the police and how the family tries to continue with her goals and dreams.
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1232Accused! The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys: Lies, Prejudice, and the Fourteenth AmendmentBrimner20215One of those pieces of history that I knew nothing about. It basically was like The Central Park 5 but in Alabama in the 1930s. Fascinating!
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1231Sixteen Flavours of HellThorne20214David Thorne is one of the funniest, quirkiest contemporary writers. As one of my friends put it, his novels are something that Monty Python would write.
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1230The Sum of UsMcGhee20215Heather McGhee does a great job in exploring all of the different ways that American society has hurt everyone, especially white people, with its racist and "color blind" policies, historically and presently.
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1229Your Black FriendPassmore20215Must read graphic novel that contains a dozen or so different stories about race in America.
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1228Romance in MarseilleMcKay20213I really wanted to like it, but I don't think it's one of his best works, and I understand why it wasn't actually published for over 70 years.
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1227The Vanishing HalfBennett20215Excellent story, both the writing and the plot. Besides just being a great story about family, it's also a powerful insight into the consequences of "passing" for people of color.
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1226Lincoln in the BardoSaunders20215I truly was thrown off at first, but I think it's a amazing story - both in its style as well as its plot. Wow!
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1225Slaughterhouse-Five: a graphic novel adaptationVonnegut, North, and Monteys20215They did an excellent job in bringing my favorite novel into the realm of graphic novels!
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1224Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindHarari20215Mind-blowing explanation of how homo sapiens came to dominate the world -- for better or for worse -- and what aspects of our current society are because our species and what was just a choice.
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1223Parable of the SowerButler20214One of the first dystopian novels, looking at a future society that is scarily similar to what actually has happened to our country.
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1222The AlchemistCoelho20215Very entertaining and though provoking. I had been meaning to read it for years, and I'm glad that I finally did.
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1221In the Time of ButterfliesAlvarez20215One of those books that I have heard so much about and I'm glad that I finally read it. I really enjoy books that are well written and that I learn something from.
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1220The MartianWeir20215Well written, very exciting, and not too technical. Great action and adventure!
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1219How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the NeighborhoodMoskowitz20215Such a well-written and clear book about the history of gentrification, its horrific damage being done to people and cities, and how we might be able to stop it.
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1218Homeland ElegiesAkhtar20215A great writer and such amazing stories that seem like powerful memoirs even though this a work of fiction.
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1217The Good EarthBuck20214I've wanted to read this for years, and I'm so glad I did. Great story, but I realized halfway through that it's hard to like the main character for his blatant misogynistic tendencies.
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1216Punching the AirZoboi & Salaam20215Powerful & gripping story told in verse about a black teen wrongfully imprisoned.
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1215The Good Lord BirdMcBride20215Just as amazing as the first time I read it!
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1214These TruthsLepore20215Wow! A truly remarkable modern analysis of American history, stretching from Columbus up through the election of Donald Trump!
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1213Before We Were FreeAlvarez20214Intriguing memoir-esque story of life in the Dominican Republic under the last year of the infamous dictator Trujillo, and a family desperately trying to end that regime and to escape to the U.S.
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1212Like a Love StoryNazemian20204Modern age love triangle involving best friends Judy (straight), Art (openly gay), and Reza (new to the school, struggling with his homosexuality), set during the AIDS crisis of the late 1980s.
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1211A Heart in a Body in the WorldCaletti20204Annabelle decides to deal with a recent tragedy by running from Seattle to D.C., and discovers a lot more about herself as a result.
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1210Transcendant KingdomGyasi20204Had high hopes, after reading Gyasi's Homegoing, but this story wasn't as strong. Deals with Gifty, immigrant from Ghana, currently working on a postdoc in research at Stanford, trying to control her life and her feelings about her family.
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1209Deacon King KongMcBride20205One of my favorite living writers, this is a great story about a cast of characters living in 1960s Brooklyn (way before gentrification), dealing with love, murder, drugs, gangs, religion, and a mystery.
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1208DuneHerbert20204Finally read this classic sci-fi, that ended up being better than I had thought. It took me a while to get through it, and, even though I didn't love it, I do understand what it's popular and why it's considered a classic.
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1207How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and TranscendencePollan20204I still prefer his books about food, but Michael Pollan writes a very clear and detailed account of the role that psychedelics has played on human history, and the potential that it has in our future.
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1206Dark at the CrossingAckerman20204Skillfull writer, telling the story of an Iraqi American trying to cross the Turkey border into Syria to help fight with the revoluntionary forces.
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1205The PowerAlderman20205Skillfully crafted sci fi/dystopian story exploring what would happen if suddenly women developed innate power that allowed them to dominate men, and the world.
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1204Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With MeTamaki20205Amazing graphic novel that gets to the heart of teenage love, angst, the complicated world of LGBTQ+, and the pain of loving someone who's not good for you.
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1203What if?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsMunroe20205Randall Munroe is a genius in how well he can entertain and educate you with his illustrations and simple but insightful language. This one of those books that you need to own, but also need to give as gifts.
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1202Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald TrumpBrockenbrough20204Fascinating look at Trump's life, going back to his grandparents, right up to before his impeachment. Well documented and very well written!
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1201All the King's MenWarren20203I had been wanting to read this book for years, being a prize-winner and constantly referred to, but it was a major chore to finish. I'm not exactly sure why. It has good writing and a good overall story, but I just wasn't grabbed by the overall storytelling.
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1200Dragon HoopsYang20205Yang always creates amazing graphic novels, and this one was close to home: teacher who doesn't really like sports gets caught up in his school's basketball team and discovers what makes it so great. And it's all based on his actual experiences.
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1199Mother NightVonnegut20204I do love Vonnegut. This isn't even close to one of his best, but I do enjoy his writing. You can see how "Slaughterhouse Five" is in his near future after this book.
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1198The Fountains of SilenceSepetys20205I always learn so much whenever I read one of Ruta Sepetys's books. Not only is this a wonderful story filled with amazing characters, but you learn so much about life during and soon after the Spanish Civil War.
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1197White Like MeWise20205Tim Wise has such a great way of explaining how to be antiracist without being demeaning or patronizing. He speaks from the heart, and this memoir truly tells his story of how he became who he is. Even though it was written a while ago, it's very prescient for our current times.
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1196PetEmezi20205I really didn't think I would like it, being a fantasy book about "monsters", but (a) it's beautifully written, and (b) it's about the "monsters" who are actually people living amongst us who act in monstrous ways. Powerful!
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1195The Collected Works of 27B/6: Victorian EditionThorne20205Zany, riculous, and hilarious! Apparently the one page stories are even funnier if you have read his earlier work (since most of them reference those stories), but they are quite enjoyable on their own.
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1194SlayMorris20204Very enjoyable sci fi book, where a black high school senior girl creates a MMORPG that is only for black people, which becomes not only a safe haven for the players but also a target for race haters.
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1193Clap When You LandAcevedo20205Such beautiful writing, and a very tender story about two half-sisters who discover each other's existence when their shared father dies in a plane crash.
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1192Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?Tatum20205This updated edition (2017) is so needed right now to explore how little we have progressed as a society in combating racism and for giving people of color, specifically youth, what they need.
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1191Emergency ContactChoi20204Wonderful story about two college-aged kids who meet each other and decide to become each other's emergency contact -- creating an interesting and suprising relationship.
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1190Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and YouReynolds & Kendi20205Not as "meaty" as the original version, but this YA edition is perfect for middle and high school students and really gets to the heart of the matter.
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1189Jane EyreBrontë20205One of those classics that I was embarassed that I never had read. Thoroughly enjoyed this romantic novel. I especially like how she addressed us with "Reader...."
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1188Pushout: the Criminalization of Black Girls in SchoolsMorris20204Powerful lessons about what we do, and don't do, in schools to our black female population.
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1187We'll Fly AwayBliss20204Enjoyable YA story from 3 narrators: a high school senior struggling with his abusive father, his best friend who is a high school wrestling champ, and then the future best friend who is now on death row.
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1186Stamped from the Beginning : The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in AmericaKendi20205A must read! This well researched, amazingly written, award winning book details the history of racism, going back to its actual beginnings in the 15th century, leading up to present day.
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1185Miracle CreekKim20204Very enjoyable murder mystery/court trial book
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1184The StrangerCamus20205I do see why it's a classic, simply told but powerfully deep.
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1183The Royal AbdulsKoya20204Tender story about an Indian American woman struggling with her work and her family, and her mixed nephew who is also struggling with his family and with his cultural identity.
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1182Heavy: an American MemoirLaymon20205Very intense memoir about the difficult relationship Kiese Laymon has had with his mother, as well as the struggle of being a large black man in our society.
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1181Frankly in LoveYoon20204Fun YA book about falling in love but hiding that person from your parents (since they wouldn't approve). I enjoyed the story and characters, but I just didn't think it was as "tight" as it could have been.
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1180Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBIGrann20205One of those fascinating true stories that I knew absolutely nothing about, even though it's set in the state where I grew up -- Oklahoma.
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1179The Bluest EyeMorrison20205Toni Morrison's first novel, and just as poignant today as it was back then.
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1178The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and CommunitiesAllen20204Fascinating true story of a former professional basketball player who creates a very successful and award-winning urban farming program in Milwaukee.