This is a fantastic YA novel about Matt, a teen whose beloved older brother T.J. was killed in Iraq. Left alone with his controlling and abusive father, Matt is struggling in school, starting fistfights with kids in the halls. When T.J.’s personal effects are delivered to Matt’s house, Matt goes through them all, searching for something meaningful he can … More Review: Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie
Oh my goodness. This book. The feels. Abigail Tarttelin’s Golden Boy tells the story of Max, an intersex teen whose entire life and sense of self are completely upended after he is brutally raped by a childhood friend. When I say brutal, I mean it–the entire book provides a graphic and unflinching look at the depression and terror that … More Review: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Elizabeth M. Edman is an Episcopal priest and a lesbian. These two aspects of her identity are stitched into her very soul; they are vitally important, essential aspects of who she is as a person and how she moves about in the world. In Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and … More Review: Queer Virtue by Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman
There are very few books that I would classify as “weird,” but Miranda July’s The First Bad Man is definitely one of them. My partner, to whom I read this book aloud, was over it by the time we were halfway through; it was too strange for her. I, on the other hand, found it … More Review: The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Scott Stossel is an anxious human. He is quite possibly the most anxious human I’ve ever had the good fortune of “meeting,” if you can call it that. Scott has multiple, extreme phobias: in particular, vomiting, flying, and public speaking. He suffers terrible anxiety-induced digestive problems. He has had too many panic attacks to count. … More Review: My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel
With All American Boys, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely have written a moving, timely story about police brutality toward young Black men in America. I listened to this book as an audiobook, and it was outstanding.
Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, a gripping account of his experiences working with wrongfully convicted death row prisoners, was chosen as the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Go Big Read book in 2015. I had the privilege of facilitating several discussions, both in public libraries and online, about this book. The book had a very strong impact on its readers, … More Review: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson