Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer Reading

The solstice might not be until tomorrow, but between the end of the academic year and the start of summer learning programs in libraries across the country, it is safe to say that summer reading time is here.

If you haven’t yet seen the 2018 We’re the People Summer Reading List, please consult it for recommendations of inclusive books by and about IPOC, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The list, founded by Edi Campbell in 2015, is curated by a team of authors, librarians, and academics: Thaddeus Andracki, Edi Campbell, Dr. Laura JimĂ©nez, Alia Jones, Sujei Lugo, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, and Dr. Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez. 

Titles are organized into the categories of Picture Books, Chapter Books/Beginning Readers, Middle Grade (ages 8-12), and Young Adult (ages 12-18). Each book undergoes a critical review process and is vetted by at least two readers before making it on the list. On the We’re the People website, the team states, “We want readers to become familiar with the names on the list and their creative work and to enjoy the stories they tell and the people they represent.” Readers looking for even more recommendations will be happy to know that past lists are archived and accessible, each organized by the year it was first created. Be sure to check out the We're the People site and the books recommended there.

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? Please share in the comments. Here are a few titles some of us RWW contributors are excited to read or recommend:

Cover of I'm Still Here
Cover of Algorithms of Oppression.
ELISA: Thanks to a recommendation from my colleague Kary, I just started reading I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown, in which the author shares personal stories and explores "the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice." In August, my local librarian/educator book club will also be discussing Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble. The book invites readers to understand how racism is embedded into our favorite search engines.

NINA:  I’ve bought a copy of There, There by Tommy Orange and am just waiting to get to it; too excited to read something set in my hometown of Oakland. 

Cover of There, There.
Cover of Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer.
SAM: I’m looking forward to Alberto Ledesma’s graphic memoir Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer. It’s sitting there in my pile, just waiting for me to get to it…

ALLIE: For Nonfiction, I’m recommending Stamped From the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi (and if you want a preview, do listen to this event he did at the Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture).  For fiction, I loved This Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila, which is a spellbinding collection of her short stories set on the islands of Hawai’i.
Cover of Stamped from the Beginning.
Cover of This is Paradise.

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