River Readers

  • Other Words for Home

    At the advent of the violence in Syria, Jude's parents make the difficult decision to send Jude and her pregnant mother to the United States to stay with her uncle. Jude's older brother has become active in the resistance and won't leave his country and her father couldn't bear to leave his business. It was gut-wrenching to leave part of her family behind and go to a new country, whose language she barely spoke. The struggle to fit in at her new school and make new friends was a difficult one.

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  • Junior High Drama

    This graphic novel takes on a variety of issues that arise in middle school. Body image, mean girls and bullying, honesty and secrets, and first dates. I thought this was an honest look at some of the issues that teen girls experience. It was divided into individual stories and at the end of each story was a sort of summary and fact sheet sometimes in the form of an interview or a letter. I thought it was informative and age appropriate.

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  • We Were Witches

    We Were Witches, at its heart, is about a single mother in the 1980’s trying to make it in the world despite all the obstacles in her way. But it is so, so much more. It is such an anomaly that I can’t explain it or put it into a genre. It is a feminist manifesto, it is a history lesson in the suppression of women. It is mystery and magic and yes, witches. It is brilliant and I loved every minute of it.

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  • With The Fire On High

    Emoni Santiago had a baby her freshman year in high school but that didn't stop her dreams of becoming a chef. Her mother died in childbirth and her father was largely absent so she depended on her grandmother, 'Buelo for help. For the most part, she was doing fine, juggling being a mother, a full-time student and a part-time job. Often her school work suffered and she was beginning to worry about how she was going get into a college, let alone pay for it. Her dream of being a chef only intensified when she enrolled in a cooking class at her school.

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  • Midnight Line

    It all starts with a ring in a pawn shop -- a ladies West Point ring engraved with SRS. Jack Reacher knows, based on his experience and the year, it is not a thing given up lightly and decides to track the owner. The ex-MP's follows the ring across several states and a variety of unsavory characters as he discovers more about its owner's life. This title in author Lee Child's best-selling series relies less on non-stop action and more on procedure to answer questions, right some wrongs, and eventually leads to a showdown at the midnight line.

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  • Parkland

    We all know about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the movement it sparked, and the teens who continue to speak truth to power. But do we really know the young people behind the tweets and interviews? Journalist Cullen (Columbine) tries to answer that question, documenting the impact of the tragedy and pain that swept through the community, as well as the movement that served as a lifeline for all involved.

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  • Southern Lady Code

    The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady.

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  • Speak

    Melinda Sordino's first day of high school was nothing like she thought it would be. No one would talk to her or even look her way, including her ex-best friend, Rachel. Just before school started something happened that caused Melinda to become a social pariah but no one knew the truth. She just couldn't speak of the matter. Slowly, it swallowed her voice.

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  • White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism

    When it is suggested to those who are white that society is racist, the reaction is often some mixture of defensiveness and anger. The reason: white fragility. Racism, argues the author, is not only done by bad people; it is a condition when society is structured to accept a white perspective as the norm. She uses multiple examples and anecdotes to knock down assumptions and objections. This is a powerful book filled with challenging ideas.

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  • Commander In Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump

    This book, claims author Rick Reilly, is not political -- it is about sports and his love of golf, a game of honor. When he read the ludicrous claim that Donald Trump had won 18 club championships, it inspired this book. The president is an excellent golfer and an engaging partner (as Reilly knows first-hand), yet is widely known for cheating and wild claims because "everyone does it" and "it sounds better." Much of Trump's life -- his upbringing, his business dealings, his penchant for lawsuits, and his inability to lose or let go of a grudge -- is examined, using golf as a lens.

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  • Shout

    Twenty years ago Laurie Halse Anderson’s felt driven by a voice in her head to write a book about a young girl who was raped just before she entered high school. This book was Speak. It sparked much controversy and many conversations about the trauma of rape and rape culture. Through the conversations with survivors after writing Speak and the #metoo movement, Halse Anderson again felt compelled to write Shout. It is a book of free verse poetry that tells the story of her life including the trauma of her rape at thirteen.

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  • On The Come Up

    Bri wants to be a rapper. Growing up in Garden Heights, the daughter of the legendary underground rapper, Lawless, Bri has a lot to prove. Her daddy was murdered, a victim of gang violence, and her mama lost it after she lost him. Driven by her grief into drug addiction, Bri and her brother, Trey, lived with their grandparents for a time. Jay, Bri's mom, fought hard to win her kids back but the struggle is still real, they are all fighting just to exist. Then the other shoe drops and Jay gets fired from her job. Bri want her rapping to save them.

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  • The Parker Inheritance

    Candice finds a letter in her grandmother's things. The letter leads to a treasure hunt through the history of Lambert, South Carolina and what happened to the Washington family in the 1950s. Candice is helped along the way by her new friend Brandon as they discover the dark history of racism in their town. 

    I enjoyed this mystery treasure hunt. I liked the Westing Game aspect of the book and the flashbacks to the 1950s. I also appreciate the fact that the author showed modern day racism and the fact that things have not changed that much since the pre-Civil Rights days. 

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  • The Bridge Home

    After Viji and Rukku escape their abusive father, they find themselves struggling to survive under an abandoned bridge in Chennai, India. They bond with two boys also on the bridge and together they eek out an existence pilfering the trash pits in and around the city.

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  • The Hate U Give

    Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping young-adult novel about one girl's struggle for justice.

    Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. -Fantastic Fiction

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