Tag Archives: diversity

Normal Sucks

Normal Sucks

Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover
256 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 9781250190161
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How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines

Jonathan Mooney

“As an accessible primer on reassessing disability and mental health, it’s invaluable, and as an exploration of what it’s like to grow up feeling different, it’s incredibly cathartic.”

—Vanity Fair

Growing up, it didn’t take long for Jonathan Mooney to figure out he was considered not normal. He was a neurodiverse kid diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD who didn’t learn to read until he was twelve, and trying to fit into the box of normalcy cost him his education, his sense of self, his friendships—and nearly his life. The realization that he wasn’t broken but the idea of normal was saved Mooney’s life. Framed as a letter to his own sons, Normal Sucks blends memoir, anecdote, and expertise to show us what happens to kids and adults who are trapped in environments that shame them and tell them, in both subtle and heartbreakingly blatant ways, that they are “not normal” and that they are the problem. Diving into the history of the concept, Mooney explores how people in power have used the term normal for centuries to keep diverse and outsider perspectives silent and compassionately investigates the lasting effects of shame, segregation, and oppression. But Mooney also offers hope—and a way forward—arguing that if we can reorient the ways in which we think about diversity and ability, if we can finally admit that “normal sucks,” then we can truly start a revolution. This inspiring book will move and empower us all to embrace and celebrate our differences.

Jonathan Mooney

© Chris Mueller

Jonathan Mooney’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, HBO, NPR, and ABC News, and he continues to speak across the nation about neurological and physical diversity, inspiring those who live with differences and advocating for change. His books include The Short Bus and Learning Outside the Lines.

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez

Picador
Paperback
432 pages • $20.00
ISBN: 9781250251237
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A Border Story

Aaron Bobrow-Strain

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez is an illuminating work of literature, not an ideological tract.”

—Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times Book Review

When Aida Hernandez was born in 1987 in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the nearby U.S. border was little more than a worn-down fence. Eight years later, Aida’s mother took her and her siblings to live in Douglas, Arizona. By then, the border had become one of the most heavily policed sites in America. Undocumented, Aida fought to make her way. She learned English, watched Friends, and, after having a baby at sixteen, dreamed of teaching dance and moving with her son to New York City. But life had other plans. Following a misstep that led to her deportation, Aida found herself in a Mexican city marked by violence, in a country that was not hers. To get back to the United States and reunite with her son, she embarked on a harrowing journey. The daughter of a rebel hero from the mountains of Chihuahua, Aida has a genius for survival—but returning to the United States was just the beginning of her quest. Taking us into detention centers, immigration courts, and the inner lives of Aida and other daring characters, The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez reveals the human consequences of militarizing what was once a more forgiving border. With emotional force and narrative suspense, Aaron Bobrow-Strain brings us into the heart of a violently unequal America. He also shows us that the heroes of our current immigration wars are less likely to be perfect paragons of virtue than complex, flawed human beings who deserve justice and empathy all the same.

Bobrow-Strain, Aaron by Hana Bobrow-Strain

© Hana Bobrow-Strain

Aaron Bobrow-Strain is a professor of politics at Whitman College, where he teaches courses dealing with food, immigration, and the U.S.-Mexico border. His writing has appeared in The Believer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Salon, and Gastronomica. He is the author of White Bread and Intimate Enemies. In the 1990s, he worked on the U.S.-Mexico border as an activist and educator. He is a founding member of the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition in Washington State.

White Rage

White Rage

Bloomsbury
Paperback
304 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781632864130
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The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

Carol Anderson

With a New Afterword by the Author
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“An extraordinarily timely and urgent call to confront the legacy of structural racism bequeathed by white anger and resentment, and to show its continuing threat to the promise of American democracy.”

The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post showing that this was, instead, “white rage at work.” Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House. Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

© Dave Wetty @ Cloud Prime Photography

Carol Anderson is professor of African American studies at Emory University. She is the author of many books and articles, including Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 and Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights: 1944-1955. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

White Rage has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

The University of Northern Iowa

Sigh, Gone

Flatiron Books
Hardcover
320 pages • $27.99
ISBN: 9781250194718
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A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In

Phuc Tran

In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran immigrates to America along with his family. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlet Letter, The Iliad, and more, Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, teenage rebellion, and assimilation, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his immigrant parents. Sigh, Gone explores one man’s bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy and reveals redemption and connection in books and punk rock. Against the hairspray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the ’80s, he finds solace and kinship in the wisdom of classic literature, and in the subculture of punk rock, he finds affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. In his journey for self-discovery, Tran ultimately finds refuge and inspiration in the art that shapes—and ultimately saves—him.

Phuc Tran (c) Jeff Roberts Imaging jpg

© Jeff Roberts Imaging

Phuc Tran has been a high school Latin teacher for more than twenty years while also simultaneously establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattoo artist in the Northeast. His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour. He has also been an occasional guest on Maine Public Radio, discussing grammar; the Classics; and Strunk and White’s legacy. He currently tattoos at and owns Tsunami Tattoo in Portland, Maine, where he lives with his family.

My Time Among the Whites

9780374191337_FC

Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781250299437
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Notes from an Unfinished Education

Jennine Capó Crucet

“Remarkable . . . My Time Among the Whites is also a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a first-generation college student, a child of immigrants, and a professor to boot.

Los Angeles Review of Books

In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Raised in Miami and the daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet examines the political and personal contours of American identity and the physical places where those contours find themselves smashed: be it a rodeo town in Nebraska, a
university campus in upstate New York, or Disney World in Florida. Crucet illuminates how she came to see her exclusion from aspects of the theoretical American Dream, despite her family’s attempts to fit in with white American culture—beginning with their ill-fated plan to name her after the winner of the Miss America pageant. In prose that is both fearless and slyly humorous, My Time Among the Whites examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here.

Jennine Capo Crucet

© Monica McGovern

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of two previous books: the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers and the story collection How to Leave Hialeah. She is currently a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, as well as a previous recipient of the O. Henry Prize, the Picador Fellowship, and the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Raised in Miami, Florida, she is an associate professor in the Department of English and the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska.

When They Call You a Terrorist

When They Call You a Terrorist

St. Martin’s Press
Paperback
288 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 9781250306906
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A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele

With a foreword by Angela Davis

When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just a reflection on the American criminal justice system. It’s a call to action for readers to change a culture that allows for violence against people of color.”

Time

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a powerful memoir, part personal history, part equal rights movement. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’s story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Patrisse, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi—the other leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement—have been regularly called terrorists and a serious threat to America; recently, a petition asked the White House to label the Black Lives Matter movement as a “terrorist group.” But in truth, they are loving, courageous women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors (c) Curtis Moore

© Curtis Moore

asha bandele (c) Michael Hnatov Photography

© Michael Hnatov Photography

Patrisse Khan-Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, California. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, public speaker, and the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize recipient.

asha bandele is the award-winning author of The Prisoner’s Wife and four other works. Honored for her work in journalism and activism, asha is a mother, a former senior editor at Essence, and a senior director at the Drug Policy Alliance.

When They Call You a Terrorist has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

University of Richmond; Northern Illinois University; East Los Angeles College (CA)

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Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374534981
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Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
224 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374284503

Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Joshua Davis

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

Spare Parts illuminates the human side of two polarizing political issues: immigration and education.”

The Washington Post

In 2004, four undocumented Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT. This was never a level competition, and yet, against all odds . . . they won! But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

“It’s the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar—and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them.”—Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey 

“This is important reading . . . Young adults will benefit from from reading and discussing this realistic, eye-opening chronicle . . . Davis pulls no punches as he describes the grim sociopolitical atmosphere that allows the oppression of talented people for no morally acceptable reason. The four young inventors and their struggles helped spur the DREAMers movement.”—Donna Chavez, Booklist (starred review)

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.”Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”Publishers Weekly

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired, co-founder of Epic magazine, and the author of The Underdog, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. He has also written for The New Yorker, and his writing is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Technology Writing. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Spare Parts has been adopted for more than forty First-Year Experience programs:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Broward College (FL); The Browning School (NY); California State University – Los Angeles; Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Des Moines Area Community College (IA); Hesston College (KS); Hood College (MD); Johns Hopkins University (MD); Kansas State University; Lafayette Public Library and School District (LA); Lewis University (IL); Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MO); Miami University (OH); Monroe Community College (NY); Naugatuck Valley Community College (CT); Nash Community College (NC); North Iowa Area Community College; North Lake College (TX); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Pasadena City College (CA); Providence College (RI); Queensborough Community College (NY); Rutgers University, Honors College (NJ); Sacramento State University (CA); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; San Jose State University (CA); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Stony Brook University (NY); Texas A&M University; University of Alaska – Southeast; University of Houston – Clear Lake (TX); University of North Carolina – Charlotte; University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

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The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux BYR
Hardcover
320 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9780374303235
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A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

Dashka Slater

Winner of the Stonewall Book Award

“The text shifts from straightforward reporting to lyrical
meditations, never veering into oversentimentality or simple platitudes. Readers are bound to come away with deep empathy for both Sasha and Richard . . . Slater artfully unfolds a complex and layered tale about two teens whose lives intersect with painful consequences. This work will spark discussions about identity, community, and what it means to achieve justice.”

School Library Journal (starred review)

One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.
If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

Dashka Slater

© Jacinta Bouwkamp

Dashka Slater has written many books, including Baby Shoes, The Sea Serpent and Me, Escargot, and Dangerously Ever After. She is also an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. She lives in California.

The 57 Bus  has been selected for First-Year Experience programs at:

The Fashion Institute of Technology (NY); Johnson State College (Northern Vermont University); University of Wisconsin – Platteville

Here We Are

Here We Are

Celadon Books
Hardcover
256 pages • $26.99
ISBN: 9781250204752
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American Dreams, American Nightmares

Aarti Namdev Shahani

“This thought-provoking and thoroughly engrossing memoir offers the story of Shahani’s experience, as well as those of other families who, though they did not find the American Dream, nevertheless found home.”

Library Journal (starred review)

Who really belongs in America? That question has chased every newcomer and many native-born since the founding of the republic. In this heart-wrenching, vulnerable and witty memoir, journalist Aarti Shahani digs deep inside herself and her family for an answer—one that she finds in an unlikely place. The Shahanis came to Queens—from India, by way of Casablanca—in the 1980s. They were undocumented for a few years and then, with the arrival of their green cards, they thought they’d made it. This memoir is the story of how they did, and didn’t. Here We Are follows the lives of Aarti, the precocious scholarship kid at one of Manhattan’s most elite prep schools, and her dad, the shopkeeper who mistakenly sells watches and calculators to the notorious Cali drug cartel. Together, the two represent the extremes that coexist in our country, even within a single family, and a truth about immigrants that gets lost in the headlines. It isn’t a matter of good or evil; it’s complicated. Ultimately, Here We Are is a coming-of-age story, a love letter from an outspoken modern daughter to her softspoken Old World father. She never expected they’d become best friends.

Aarti Namdev Shahani

© Nickolai Hammar/NPR

Aarti Namdev Shahani is a correspondent for NPR based in Silicon Valley, covering the largest companies on earth. Her reporting has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. Before journalism, Shahani was a community organizer in New York City, helping prisoners and families facing deportation. Shahani grew up in Flushing, Queens, and believes every American should visit her hometown to understand what makes America great.

 

Eloquent Rage

Eloquent Rage

Picador
Paperback
288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250112880
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A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower

Brittney Cooper

“Brittney Cooper builds a manifesto mostly from memoir.
Eloquent Rage considers African-American feminists from
Michelle Obama to Beyoncé, but it is chiefly a chronicle of
how Cooper learned to stop disguising and dismissing her
own anger . . . Cooper’s attention to the complex dynamics
of anger is illuminating.”

The New Yorker

Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But in the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother’s eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Cooper into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper’s world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one’s own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.

Anthony Hinton (c) Cody Love

© Ryan Lash Photography

Brittney Cooper writes a popular monthly column on race, gender, and politics for Cosmopolitan. A professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, she co-founded the Crunk Feminist Collective, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Ebony.com, and The Root.com, among many others.

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