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The Compulsive Reader: November 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Books for the next four years

Well, last week was a week.

I can't pretend that I have any startling insights or, let's be honest, many coherent thoughts. I'm still trying to reconcile the hope and exhilaration I felt drawing the connecting line that made the arrow that pointed to Hillary's name with the horror and fear that came with learning the results. I've had more time to process, time to reach out to the people I love, and time to talk. I'm so inspired and comforted by all the action that's been taken over the past week and all of the planning for the future. I keep looking for actions to take, and inevitably find myself falling back on my strengths, the main one being Super Book Recommender. As I advocated for reading widely and diverse literature, a friend asked me for a reading list and I happily complied. I thought I'd share it, too.

And I should note that there are TONS of reading lists going around--check those out, too. My list is by no means complete, but a good start if you're looking for awesome (mostly intersectional) YA for teens (and adults!).

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Lumberjanes comics by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Waters, etc.
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (just finished this and WOW)
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Cloudwish by Fiona Wood
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levitahn
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
George by Alex Gino
How It Went Down by Kekla Magon
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

And check out American Street by Ibi Zoboi (I know Ibi from VCFA and I've heard her read her work--she's astoundingly good!) and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas when they come out in February. Or better yet, pre-order them. I'd LOVE to see those books debut on the New York Times bestseller list, and pre-order help make that happen.

Another thing I'd suggest doing is considering adopting a classroom in a local community and making a commitment to donate at least one diverse book per month to that classroom. Coordinate with the teacher to see what's needed and where interests fall (and, I hate to say it, to make sure the books will actually be put in the classrooms), but make an effort to give diverse books that will show kids another perspective and help them gain empathy for others. I'm particularly fond of this idea because it supports diverse authors, and it benefits kids. Donate to classrooms where there might not be a lot of money for books, but don't hesitate to give to more privileged classrooms either. Just last week I subbed in a classroom at a predominantly white private school, and I left them with copies of Brown Girl Dreaming, I Am Malala, Shadows of Sherwood, and Kinda Like Brothers in the hopes that those kids, privileged as they are, start seeing other experiences.

Someone on Twitter said that the next four years are going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Keep going, friends. And know that I'm here for you.