River Readers

  • Ghost Boys

    Jerome is twelve years old when he is shot by the police and killed for playing with a toy gun in the park. Jerome was a good kid who never got in trouble. Loved by his parents and little sister, his spirit rises from his dead body and tries to find some meaning behind his death. Along the way, he encounters the ghost of Emmett Till and together they try to navigate the troubled waters of finding out if there can be any good to come out of their murders.

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  • The Thing We Cannot Say

    In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It's a decision that will alter her destiny...and it's a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

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  • Hellhound On His Trail

    *Starred Review* In 1967, an escaped prisoner, drifter, and racist, while voluntarily working on the presidential campaign for George Wallace in California, got the idea of stalking and killing Martin Luther King Jr. Using the alias Eric Galt, he traveled to his native South and kept track of King as the civil rights leader marched in Memphis for the striking garbage collectors. Galt, whose real name was James Earl Ray, methodically planned and executed the assassination then fled to Canada and Europe, hoping eventually to immigrate to South Africa.

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  • The Night Diary

    Nisha is given the diary as a gift from Kazi their cook. She lives in India in 1947 with her father, grandmother and twin brother. Her mother died in childbirth and Nisha writes letters to her in the diary. India is being given self-rule from England and is breaking apart into India and Pakistan. The Muslims will be going to Pakistan and the Hindus to India. Unfortunately, Nisha and her family live in what is to be Pakistan and are Hindus. Or more specifically half-Hindu, half-Muslim. Her mother was Muslim and her father Hindu.

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  • The First Conspiracy

    Before George Washington was president, he was also the commander of the revolutionary army. Not as well known, is the conspiracy to kidnap or kill Washington at the beginning of the war. Why the plot failed is due to the introduction of counterintelligence -- along with many coincidence and a dose of dumb luck. The story is told, pieced together from writings, records, and letters, in an engaging radio serial style, with each chapter setting up the next portion of the story.

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  • We Are All Welcome Here

    It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis's birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently-and violently-across the state. But in Paige Dunn's small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit-with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

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  • The Victory Garden

    As the Great War continues to take its toll, headstrong twenty-one-year-old Emily Bryce is determined to contribute to the war effort. She is convinced by a cheeky and handsome Australian pilot that she can do more, and it is not long before she falls in love with him and accepts his proposal of marriage.

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  • Lost Roses

    It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now, Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar's Winter Palace, the famous ballet.

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  • Making Bombs for Hitler

    Lida thought she was safe. Her neighbors wearing the yellow star were all taken away, but Lida is not Jewish. She will be fine, won't she?

    But she cannot escape the horrors of World War II.

    Lida's parents are ripped away from her and she is separated from her beloved sister, Larissa. The Nazis take Lida to a brutal work camp, where she and other Ukrainian children are forced into backbreaking labor. Starving and terrified, Lida bonds with her fellow prisoners, but none of them know if they'll live to see tomorrow.

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  • Walking with Miss Millie

    Alice is angry at having to move to Rainbow, Georgia - a too small, too hot, dried-up place she's sure will never feel like home. Then she gets put in charge of walking her elderly neighbor's dog. But Clarence won't budge without Miss Millie, so Alice and Miss Millie walk him together.

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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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  • Internment

    Layla Amin knew things weren't going to go well, when they had to put on the census that they were Muslim, essentially creating a registry. Soon, Muslims around the country were put on restrictions for jobs, curfews and more. It all came to a head when Layla and her family were arrested and taken to Mobius, the first internment camp for Muslims.

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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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  • Right as Rain

    Rain's family is reeling after the death of her older brother. Her mom tries to keep busy to forget the pain and initiates the family moving to a big city away from their past. Her dad is so depressed that he can hardly get out of bed. And Rain blames herself for her brother's death.

    The new neighborhood and school are a challenge because Rain is the only one with her skin color and she is afraid to open up to anyone about her family. Thru running and required community service, Rain realizes that she is not alone.

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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. 

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