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Posts Tagged «social justice»

The Parker Inheritance

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

by Varian Johnson, 331 pages, Grades 6 and up

Candice is pretty unhappy to be in South Carolina with her mom instead of back in Washington D.C. with both of her parents. Her parents are  trying to unstitch their marriage and her mother wanted some space in her hometown while they work it out. It is hard struggling with the loss of her family and trying to be comfortable in a new place, but she when she finds a letter written by her great-grandmother containing a mystery and then meets Brandon, the perfect mystery-solving companion, things start to get interesting. Brandon and Candice believe they are searching for a long lost treasure as they read and do research about the people mentioned in her great grandma’s letter. The whole history of the town and the mystery specifically is steeped in racial tension both historical and contemporary. Something happened when a tennis match was played between Wallace School (white) and Perkins School (African American) in the 1950s. What did her great grandmother have to do with it? And, who are Siobhan, Enoch and Leanne and how do they fit in? Brandon and Candice follow twists and turns in their search for answers. Racism, colorism (prejudice and privilege based on the shade of your skin even within the Black community) and the concept of passing for white all play a role in this complex historical mystery.

If you enjoy a good mystery, you might also like Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett, or if you are more into historical adventure you might like Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis. If you enjoy books about family with a little mystery too, you might like As Brave As You, by Jason Reynolds.

Just Mercy: adapted for young audience

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

NONFICTION by Bryan Stevenson, 277 pages, Grades 7 and up

Bryan Stevenson is an attorney, a social justice activist and the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. His mission is to bring more justice to the criminal justice system. He shares stories of varied individuals and their experiences with the criminal justice system illustrating its unfairness, its racial inequities, its harsh realities and challenges, and how it can sometimes work for good. Stevenson reminds readers that, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done,” and helps readers to feel compassion for the humanity we continue to incarcerate often unfairly and inhumanely. 

If you enjoy reading nonfiction, you might also like: The Other Wes Moore, an autobiography by Wes Moore, Zeitoun, a biography by Dave Eggers, or Superman vs. the KKK, by Rick Bowers.