Color Counterbalance February 2017 Book of the Month
Angela Shelf Medearis’ Coretta Scott King: Dare to Dream provides an easy to read history lesson on the civil rights movement as it tells the story of Coretta’s life. Witnessing her parents’ navigation of segregation and her husband’s philosophy of nonviolence are the foreground to Coretta’s own dedication to social justice issues and pursuit of her dream of a “peaceful future for all races.” Dare to Dream discusses complex topics in an accessible way, including segregation and racial injustice, and is sure to start meaningful conversations. This book is one volume from the Women of Our Time Series, which offer “documented life stories about influential women.”
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How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, by Tonya Bolden. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
The first national museum whose mission is to illuminate for all people, the rich, diverse, complicated, and important experiences and contributions of African Americans in America is opening. And the history of NMAAHC--the last museum to be built on the National Mall--is the history of America.
The campaign to set up a museum honoring black citizens is nearly 100 years old; building the museum itelf and assembling its incredibly far-reaching collections is a modern story that involves all kinds of people, from educators and activists, to politicians, architects, curators, construction workers, and ordinary Americans who donated cherished belongings to be included in NMAAHC's thematically-organized exhibits.
Award-winning author Tonya Bolden has written a fascinating chronicle of how all of these ideas, ambitions, and actual objects came together in one incredible museum. Includes behind-the-scenes photos of literally "how to build a museum" that holds everything from an entire segregated railroad car to a tiny West African amulet worn to ward off slave traders.Read More
Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.Read More
Gone Crazy in Alabama, by Rita Williams-Garcia. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, a Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
The Coretta Scott King Award–winning Gone Crazy in Alabama by Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.
Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books, as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time.Read More
Tua and the Elephant, by R. P. Harris. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
One day, Tua makes an accidental acquaintance—one with wise, loving eyes and a very curious trunk. And this elephant needs her help. From the bustling night market to the hallowed halls of a Buddhist temple and finally, to the sanctuary of an elephant refuge, this clever girl and her beloved companion find that right under their noses is exactly what each has been searching for: a friend.Read More
Chloe in India, by Kate Darnton. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
A poignant and delightful story involving class, race, social customs, and a unique friendship that questions them all.
Though they’re divided by class, language, appearance—you name it—Chloe and Lakshmi have a lot in common. Both girls are new to Class Five at Premium Academy in New Delhi, India, and neither seems to fit in. But they soon discover how extraordinary an ordinary friendship can be and how celebrating our individuality can change the world.Read More
Starry River of the Sky, by Grace Lin. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
The moon is missing from the remote Village of Clear Sky, but only a young boy named Rendi seems to notice! Rendi has run away from home and is now working as a chore boy at the village inn. He can't help but notice the village's peculiar inhabitants and their problems-where has the innkeeper's son gone? Why are Master Chao and Widow Yan always arguing? What is the crying sound Rendi keeps hearing? And how can crazy, old Mr. Shan not know if his pet is a toad or a rabbit?
But one day, a mysterious lady arrives at the Inn with the gift of storytelling, and slowly transforms the villagers and Rendi himself. As she tells more stories and the days pass in the Village of Clear Sky, Rendi begins to realize that perhaps it is his own story that holds the answers to all those questions.Read More
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
This stunning fantasy inspired by Chinese folklore is a companion novel to the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award finalist When the Sea Turned to Silver.
In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.Read More
When the Sea Turned to Silver, by Grace Lin. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
Pinmei's gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.
Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei's grandmother--before it's too late.Read More
Inside Out and Back Again, by Harper Collins. Click here to purchase on IndieBound, A Community of Independent Local Bookstores.
For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food . . . and the strength of her very own family.
This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny." An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story.Read More