Pub Day Shout-Outs! June 16th, 2020, featuring Barnett, Lee, and Kaur
by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)
Here are three books coming out today that look amazing:
Brittany K. Barnett's A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom
Description from Publisher:
"Brittany K. Barnett was only a law student when she came across the case that would change her life forever—that of Sharanda Jones, single mother, business owner, and, like Brittany, Black daughter of the rural South. A victim of America’s devastating war on drugs, Sharanda had been torn away from her young daughter and was serving a life sentence without parole—for a first-time drug offense. In Sharanda, Brittany saw haunting echoes of her own life, both as the daughter of a formerly incarcerated mother and as the once-girlfriend of an abusive drug dealer. As she studied this case, a system came into focus: one where widespread racial injustice forms the core of America’s addiction to incarceration. Moved by Sharanda’s plight, Brittany set to work to gain her freedom.
"This had never been the plan. Bright and ambitious, Brittany was a successful accountant on her way to a high-powered future in corporate law. But Sharanda’s case opened the door to a harrowing journey through the criminal justice system. By day she moved billion-dollar deals, and by night she worked pro bono to free clients in near-hopeless legal battles. Ultimately, her path transformed her understanding of injustice in the courts, of genius languishing behind bars, and the very definition of freedom itself.
"Brittany’s riveting memoir is at once a coming-of-age story and a powerful evocation of what it takes to bring hope and justice to a system built to resist them both."
Why I want to read it: I am always interested in books that examine the flaws within our justice system and promote reform, and this memoir sounds like such a powerful account of a specific situation that highlights why those reforms urgently need to take place.
Lyla Lee's I'll Be the One
Description from Publisher:
"Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.
"She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.
"When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.
"But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself."
Why I want to read it: This book sounds amazing! I love reading about K-pop, and I love the way that this one promises to challenge attitudes and expectations placed on girls.
Description from Publisher:
"How do we love in a time of rage? How do we fix a broken world while not breaking ourselves? Valarie Kaur—renowned Sikh activist, filmmaker, and civil rights lawyer—describes revolutionary love as the call of our time, a radical, joyful practice that extends in three directions: to others, to our opponents, and to ourselves. It enjoins us to see no stranger but instead look at others and say:You are part of me I do not yet know. Starting from that place of wonder, the world begins to change: It is a practice that can transform a relationship, a community, a culture, even a nation.
"Kaur takes readers through her own riveting journey—as a brown girl growing up in California farmland finding her place in the world; as a young adult galvanized by the murders of Sikhs after 9/11; as a law student fighting injustices in American prisons and on Guantánamo Bay; as an activist working with communities recovering from xenophobic attacks; and as a woman trying to heal from her own experiences with police violence and sexual assault. Drawing from the wisdom of sages, scientists, and activists, Kaur reclaims love as an active, public, and revolutionary force that creates new possibilities for ourselves, our communities, and our world. See No Stranger helps us imagine new ways of being with each other—and with ourselves—so that together we can begin to build the world we want to see."
Why I want to read it: The opening questions in the blurb from the publisher really resonate with me right now, and I love the premise behind this one -- promotion of revolutionary love seems like a great idea right about now! I also love memoirs, and this sounds like a fascinating one.
A Few More...
I'm also so excited about Ibram X. Kendi's children's book, Antiracist Baby (illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky); Betsy Cornwell's YA fantasy novel, The Circus Rose; and Kathleen Krull's middle-grade nonfiction book, American Immigration: Our History, Our Stories.
(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)
Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.
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