Nadia's picks

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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524700485
Availability: Usually Arrives in Store in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 17th, 2017

A page-turner with moments that made me laugh out loud and moments that made me cry. Fifteen-year-old Julia is a big dreamer who loves books and isn't afraid to ask questions. An honest and complex rendering of the struggles of some first-generation American youth. This is a book I wish I had as a young teenage girl. Must-read!! :-)

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Don't Call Us Dead: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017

One of the best books of the year. These poems are concerned with commemoration, with facing truth, with survival and laughter and holding each other despite the storms, with alternate heavens and worlds of love and freedom. In Danez's own words "but today i'm alive, which is to say / i survived yesterday, spent it / ducking bullets, some / flying toward me & some / trying to rip their way out."

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The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735217713
Availability: Usually Arrives in Store in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - February 6th, 2018

In rich, lyrical prose former border patrol agent Francisco Cantú paints vivid pictures of the experiences of migrants attempting to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Without being overtly political, these vignettes Cantú offers readers lift up human stories that are haunting in their depiction of migrants' hunger for the opportunity to make an honest living in the U.S., the criminalization they face, the heartbreak in the separation of families, the violence that can ensue at the border, and the impact of policies that are interwoven in all of this. This emotionally stirring account is a timely and necessary read as one considers immigration issues today. 

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The Poet X Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - March 6th, 2018

A novel in verse about an Afro-Dominican teenage girl who finds herself and freedom through the pages of her notebook. Freedom from her mother's rules and expectations of her in the home and the Catholic church, freedom from street harassment by boys and men who make her feel small, awareness that she's a poet with a voice and so much to say, a space to reflect on the goodness and challenges of young love. A novel on love, struggle with self and others, and being a bud that desperately wants to blossom—this book is an offering to young girls who are quiet storms and big dreamers in their own right.

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American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143133186
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 19th, 2018

A collection of 70 sonnets that have the same title, these poems command your attention and do not disappoint. Written in the age of the Trump presidency, Terrance Hayes explores Americanness, violence, love, survival, as well as important cultural markers, figures and moments in our history. Each sonnet changes how we see and break open doors that look to the past and where it may lead us. In one poem, the speaker says:  "I mean to leave / a record of my raptures." This book is indeed a record one may find themselves called to revisit again and again.

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Wade in the Water: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978136
Availability: Usually Arrives in Store in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - April 3rd, 2018

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith's collection quietly, yet powerfully, guides readers through the waters of key moments in America's history and aspects of the self through lyric and narrative poetry. Smith illuminates voices of African American Civil War soldiers, uses the Declaration of Independence as a canvas, turns letters into poetry, shows us deep love and loss with natural landscapes as the backdrop and more. With a nod to the song and perhaps a question for the reader to consider, in Wade in the Water's title poem written for the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, Smith ends the piece with: "O Lord–O Lord–O Lord– / Is this love the trouble you promised?" These poems are meditative, necessary offerings.

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American Street Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062473059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 1st, 2018

Ibi Zoboi's YA novel is an incredible and gripping debut. Dealing with the ever-present void of her mother's detention by U.S. immigration forces, Fabiola navigates her new life as an immigrant living in Detroit with her Haitian American cousins. Zoboi skillfully depicts some of the tensions and cultural differences between Haitian immigrants having to assimilate vs. Haitians being American born. She weaves in familial and romantic love, trauma of various kinds, Haitian spirituality, joy and laughter. You will feel close to and invested in these characters, these Black girls—this vital story.

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The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Cover Image
By Jamila Woods (Editor), Mahogany L. Browne (Editor), Idrissa Simmonds (Editor)
ISBN: 9781608468577
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - April 17th, 2018

This book is a celebration of Black women across the African diaspora, a testament to grown and young women owning their power, a space for the Black women who love hip hop and the Black women who have a complicated relationship with it. This book is an ever-flowing river filled with stories of their struggles, their hopes, their joys, what makes them magic, what makes them laugh, how they survive, how they thrive. These poems will stir you, show you mirrors, open doors and make homes in your bones.

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The Book of Delights: Essays Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781616207922
Availability: Backordered -- Email or Call for Availability
Published: Algonquin Books - February 12th, 2019

This collection of essays reminds us that there’s much to be grateful for despite the struggles we may face on earth. Ross Gay asks us to celebrate. Marvel at the hummingbird that crosses your path and stays a while. Meditate to Donny Hathaway’s memorable voice singing truths about life, love, and death. Take pride in the broken things you fix with your will and your hands. The list goes on. Gay speaks to the reader as he would to a friend. He does so with care, humor, and grace.

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American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 4th, 2018

American Journal is a marvelous anthology of contemporary poetry that captures the multiplicity and complexity of the human condition in the American landscape. Selected by our country's Poet Laureate, these poems give voice to small-town dwellers, lovers in awe, the working class, the unafraid, the mourning, the critical, the nostalgic, lovers of land and its living things, members of the margins, and much in between. Whether you're new to poetry or you can't imagine in your life without it, this slim, pocket-sized volume of poems invites you sit with the mundane and indescribable. Within its pages, find questions, answers and a seat at a table that was made for your return.

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Heads of the Colored People: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781501167997
Availability: Hard to Find - Email or Call for Availability
Published: 37 Ink - April 10th, 2018

This collection of short stories is packed with plenty of laugh-out-loud funny moments. A poignant and engrossing read that gives readers a glimpse into the Black middle class experience—the tragedy, the mundane, the joys and everything in-between. This is a book I didn't want to end. Heavy and light in its careful and inventive rendering, Thompson-Spires gives readers a truly a memorable debut.