Here we go – I’m going to try keep these short because it’s been a while since I’ve read most of these! I’m going to do something a little different and sort these by Most Recommended to Less Recommended.
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson starts the list off. For such a short novel Woodson does what she does best and packs a hell of a punch in a small package. This follows several generations of a set of families and their struggles and triumphs centered around marriage, family, and motherhood. This one made me tear up several times and just feel so many things. I so recommend this one.
- The next one I’d push on everyone is They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, etc. This is an important and often hushed up part of American history and the art and story telling in this was just perfectly structured and presented. I loved it so much I pre-ordered the new edition coming out this year. I can’t wait for my daughter to get old enough, I want this on her shelf so she can read this.
- March, Volume One by John Lewis, etc is another one I super recommend. I haven’t gotten to Volume Two yet, but I’m watching for that one to come in soon on my holds. Yet another part of history that I think we need more coverage on, and more information about. And especially with recent events and someone’s comments – this is a must read.
I’ll just order the rest from best to worst – if these interest you give them a try!
- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
This was a contemporary about a young black man coming into his own and facing a reality of what it’s like for black people in America. It’s very topical and very of the moment, but it manages to keep from being super heavy. The writing is beautiful at turns, and shocking at others and keeps the story going. I really, really enjoyed this one. My only critique is that it is fading from my memory fast, but I intend to pick up the sequel when I see it in my local library for sure.
- She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
I’m still thinking about this one. It’s the story of three magical people coming together and creating a magical version of the history of Liberia. I was engrossed the whole way through – so worth picking up.
- Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
This was exceptionally cute but I don’t think it’s going to stand out to me from this line (the Rick Riordan Presents Books). I can’t say anything bad, it was just very simple and cute.
- Solo by Kwame Alexander
I loved the style on this verse novel about the child of a rockstar trying to find his own way. But I think the melodrama was a bit too much and the perspective (the social media emphasis for his famous sister, and the throwing around of money with no real awareness) the character had kind of detracted for me a little bit.
- Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert
This one was cute, a romance between two boys that were competitors/team mates in a card game that was basically Magic the Gathering. I enjoyed portions of this but overall I came away disgruntled. It played into a lot of gamer tropes/stereotypes I wasn’t wild about and felt really long.