Serious, Short, Uplifting: Two New Books

My non-fiction reading for the Cybils awards continues! Sadly I'm not as quick at writing reviews as I am about reading books. Nevertheless, I have two more great books to recommend today. 

The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love and Truth edited by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson

The title of this book scared me a little. But the book is fantastic! A variety of authors and illustrators come together to present what they would say to their kids about race; something short to "give them tools to make their way." 

A few weeks after my reading I'm still returning in memory to these short, powerful  stories. I think of the story by Adam Gidwitz, who wrote about talking with his daughter on the balcony about her inheritance of racism. I can relate. I think of the short letter by Grace Lin who urged her daughter to remember that she is a person, even when people call her a China doll. I think of the story by Wade Hudson, who tells about his childhood and his dream of getting a bike for Christmas, and how he grew up a little that day. I read that one aloud to my son. 

There are 17 stories in all, and I'm sure you'll find them as eye-opening, moving, and memorable as I did. 

On the Horizon: World War II Reflections by Lois Lowry

Wow. This book. So moving. I judged this book by its cover and wasn't wild to read it, but I'm SO glad I did. It's now one of my all-time favorite books of poetry. 

This is a short book of poetry by author Lois Lowry, who is best known for writing The Giver. I kind of think she has become The Giver, in this book. She shares her memories of living in Hawaii and Japan, and also her distillations of the memories of many others, particularly those associated with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Hiroshima. 

This book feels both like a meaningful tribute to veterans and a petition for future peace. There were several poems that I insisted on reading aloud to my family, but the emotional impact of the book is unquestionably greater if you read it from cover to cover (and don't skip the afterword!), rather than picking and choosing poems.  

I feel sure that this is a book for adults. Sure, I'd let my child read it, but I think it is published/marketed for children because it is short (75 pages), has no objectionable content, and is written by a famous children's author. It deserves to go viral and I want to send a copy to every elected official in the United States. 

Please pick this one up. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. Added both to my "to read" list! They sound great. Thanks!


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