Books

A powerful picture book about the transatlantic slave trade, Kwame Alexander and Dare Coulter’s An American Story opens with a question: “How do you tell a story that starts in Africa and ends in horror?” It might seem an impossible topic to teach children, and yet, as the book’s title suggests, it’s an essential part
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This week across the book banning social media world, a new guidebook to inappropriate books across the state of Iowa has been circulating. This 111 page guidebook, put together by Moms For Liberty in Polk County, reiterates that their quest to remove inappropriate books from schools is not about book banning. Indeed, they use the
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Journalist and Julia Child’s grandnephew Alex Prud’homme (My Life in France; The French Chef in America) has crafted a finely balanced, scrupulously researched account of gastronomy and culture, history and politics in Dinner With the President: Food, Politics, and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House. Even for those of us who paid
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When you gaze at the quilted cover of A Flag for Juneteenth, you will want to reach out and touch it. The artwork depicts a girl wearing a fuchsia dress and kerchief standing proudly in front of a flag, the bright colors of her outfit vibrant against the flag’s soft yellows and greens. The girl’s
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On February 28, 2003, as President George W. Bush prepared to authorize military action, he turned to his advisers and asked if they had thought enough about “what they hoped to achieve in Iraq.” Plans were made and carried out, but in a short time, the Iraq policy went awry. Historian Melvyn P. Leffler explores
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It can be fun to speculate about nature versus nurture, to consider which of our quirks might be innate and which might have been shaped by where or with whom we grew up. While we’re at it, we can also ponder that well-known question of Shakespearean origin: What’s in a name?  But Shenanigan Swift, the
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Two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee brings her considerable talents to a timeless celebration of birth and life in In Every Life, a wonder of a picture book.  In an introductory note, Frazee shares the long history of her book’s inception. In 1998, she witnessed a call-and-response-style blessing for a new baby. She’s made a
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Novelist Paul La Farge has died at the age of 52. He passed from cancer on January 18th in Poughkeepsie, New York as confirmed by his wife. La Farge was a New York native whose essays and fiction appeared in publications like The Village Voice, The New Yorker, and McSweeney’s. His debut novel, The Artist
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This home-and-back-again adventure tale belongs to Evergreen, a wide-eyed squirrel who lives deep in Buckthorn Forest. Evergreen has a long list of fears, including but not limited to germs, loud noises, heights, swimming and thunderstorms. When her mother asks her to travel through the forest to take soup to Granny Oak, Evergreen responds, “I can’t
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So far this year, eight states have introduced legislation that makes it easier to prosecute teachers and librarians under “obscenity” and “harmful to minor” laws — these have been weaponizing in recent book banning battles, being used against librarians and educators just for having LGBTQ books or sex education books on the shelves. EveryLibrary, a
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Long winter nights are for reading! Our February issue contains great new fiction from Sonora Jha, Tessa Bailey and Stephen Graham Jones, plus the best books for Black History Month and more. In upcoming issues, keep an eye out for our Writers to Watch list, highlights in inspirational fiction and outstanding new memoirs.
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Is the 21st century “an epoch in which games and play are the model for how we interact with culture and each other”? Designer and professor Eric Zimmerman thinks so. At the very least, games can provide an extraordinarily useful way to learn by doing. In The Rules We Break: Lessons in Play, Thinking, and
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For their entire lives, Penny and Tate have orbited each other reluctantly. Since before Penny and Tate were born, their moms, Lottie and Anna, have been attached at the hip, and this permanent package deal means constant, unwanted proximity for the two daughters. See, Penny and Tate are not friends. They’re also not not friends.
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Sheila Liming’s Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time is a thoughtful manifesto on the inherently subversive and joyous act of socializing. In seven chapters about different types of hanging out (“Dinner Parties as Hanging Out,” “Hanging Out on the Job,” etc.), Liming explores the fading art of leisure and its cultural roots. Liming
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Ken Follett’s next novel will be published on September 26, 2023. It will be titled “The Armor of Light“ and will conclude the eight-volume Kingsbridge series that follows 1,000 years of Western civilization, from “Ethelred the Unready to the election of President Obama.” Readers will follow a group of linked families, starting in the fictional
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Sixty-seven years after the savage murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi, his cousin still seeks some kind of justice. Haunted by the 1955 hate crime that ignited the civil rights movement, Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr. brings everything and everyone back to life in A Few Days Full of Trouble: Revelations on the Journey to Justice
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Few conditions feel more dystopian than toiling away at a dead-end job. But imagine performing menial chores in a massive, vacant research facility so remote that a helicopter is required to get there. Plus, outdoor conditions are so fierce that anyone who steps outside is likely to develop a mysterious “snow sickness.” This is the
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In a fantastic collaboration between two top-notch institutions working against censorship and book bans, high school students across the country are invited to apply to and take part in the Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute. Brooklyn Public Library–named Librarians of the Year from Library Journal for their Books Unbanned program–and PEN America–a leader in tracking
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Australia has perhaps the most unusual (and dangerous) wildlife of any continent, a product of its unique status as a vast island that broke off from other landmasses millions of years ago. Due to this isolation, plants and animals specifically adapted to its climate, independent of what was evolving in the rest of the world.
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Throughout our lives, we encounter fraught decisions around love and money: whether to take a better job across the country when our partner wants to stay put; when and whether to marry, buy a house, have a child; if we should work full time with children in the picture. Money and love “are profoundly intertwined,
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When Henrietta Weldon’s parents decide that she should switch from private to public school for seventh grade, Henri is excited—and determined to hide her nerves. Between her messy bedroom and her struggles with math, Henri’s family of competitive overachievers treat her like “a problem to be solved.” Her older sister, Kat, refuses to answer Henri’s
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Jami Attenberg (All This Could Be Yours) looks back on her years as a roaming artist in I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home. Attenberg has lived an uncompromising life as a writer, and she muses about her choices in this forthright memoir. Frequently crossing the country to promote her books,
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