Staff Picks by Tag

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Deacon King Kong: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

It's September, 1969, int he Brooklyn projects, The Cause, where poverty consumes the residents and rarely spits them out. Five Ends Baptist Church is a strong force within this community. One of its deacons, a kindhearted by drunken 71 year-old known as Sportcoat, shoots a young drug dealer in broad daylight before many witnesses. Stumbling off toward the rest of his day, Sportcoat eludes the law and claims not to remember a thing about shooting Deems. From this point on the spicy dialogues swirl before the reader, as people react to this unexpected act of violence. Sportcoat's reputation weighs in heavily, making clear the loyalty that poverty generates. McBride's brilliant portrait of these connected souls underline the power of words!


Review by Jane

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316453691
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

It's staggering to see all this history compiled into one book for the simple fact alone that it makes it impossible not to notice the patterns. Of the behavior, thoughts, ideals, and motivations of white people in positions of power finding ways to undermine black people throughout America's history. I learned more from this single book than any history class I took in school. So, please read this book immediately, but I also say we commission Jason Reynolds to write every history book from now until forever.


Review by Claire

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Everywhere You Don't Belong Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781616208790
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Algonquin Books - February 4th, 2020

Bump writes from his own childhood experience on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a heartfelt story with familiar themes of family, love, and growing up, but from a completely unique voice – one that will endear you to main character Claude McKay and one that needs to be heard.

 Pair it with Margo Jefferson’s Negroland a memoir, also about growing up, decades earlier and in another part of Chicago, as an affluent African-American. Two illuminating and unforgettable portrayals of race in the U.S.


Review by Elisabeth

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The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780385537070
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Doubleday - July 16th, 2019

Whitehead lined up the plot of this novel as meticulously as dominos and then with a flick tore everything down in moments.

I sobbed at the end. Read it read it read it.


Review by Allie

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The White Card: A Play Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978396
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - March 19th, 2019

Many of us hope that we would not end up on the wrong side of the potent conversations in this electrifying play. But there are so many wrong sides. The lines Rankine draws here are blurry and moving fast - the discomfort is the point. Rankine does here what all great dramatists do - distills the complex noise of our time into a clear mirror. When we catch a glimpse of ourselves we are forced to try to do better.


Review by Robert