Gardiner Public Library is now open to the public Monday - Friday from 10 - 5. Our Pick-Up Window is open Mon. 10 - 5:25 ; Tues. 10 - 5:25 ; Wed. 10 - 6 ; Thurs. 10 - 5:25 and Fri. 10 - 5:25. Please call for details - 207-582-3312

New Items ~ November 2020

FICTION

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse.  A powerful priest, an outcast seafarer, and a man born to be the vessel of a god come together.  This novel is inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

The book of two ways by Jodi Picoult.  A novel about the choice that alter the course of our lives.  Do we make choices – or do our choices make us?  And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

The brilliant life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons.  A moving and joyous novel about an elderly woman who is ready to embrace death and of the little girl who reminds her what it means to live.

Chaos by Iris Johansen.  CIA agent Alisa Flynn is willing to go rogue if it means catching the most heartless band of criminals she’s ever encountered.

The devil and the dark water by Stuart Turton.  A murder on the high seas.  A remarkable detective duo.  A demon who may or may not exist.  A thriller of supernatural horror, occult suspicion, and paranormal mystery on the high seas.

The evening and the morning by Ken Follett.  In a prequel to “Pillars of the Earth”, a boat builder, a Norman noblewoman, and a monk live in England under attack by the Welsh and the Vikings.

Fifty words for rain by Asha Lemmie.  In 1940s Japan, an 8-year-old child of a married Japanese aristocrat and her African-American lover searches for her place in the world.

The invisible life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.  France, 1714.  In a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever – and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.  But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, she meets a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Jack by Marilynne Robinson.  This is the story of the prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister and his romance with a high school teacher who is also the son of a preacher.  Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life then and now.

Just like you by Nick Hornby.  A divorced 41 year old woman meets a 22 year old at a butcher’s counter.  This is about what happens when the person who makes you happiest is someone you never expected.

Leave the world behind by Rumaan Alam.  A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.

The lending library by Aliza Fogelson.  This pairs a passionate bibliophile with a handsome construction worker and achieves maximum charm.  A daydreamer gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift:  a lending library in her sunroom.

The lost shtetl by Max Gross.  What if there was a town that history missed?  A small Jewish village in the Polish forest is so secluded no one knows it exists…until now.

Love and other crimes by Sara Paretsky.  A collection of crime and detective stories, many featuring legendary detective V.I. Warshawski.

Magic lessons by Alice Hoffman.  In a prequel to “Practical Magic”, Maria Owens invokes a curse that will haunt her family in Salem, MA.

Only truth by Julie Cameron.  A London painter, whose husband insists on moving to the country realizes that “there’s something not right with this place”.  Talk about an understatement.

The return by Nicholas Sparks.  The story of an injured Navy doctor – and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

The searcher by Tana French.  After a divorce, a former Chicago police officer resettles in an Irish village where a boy goes missing.

 The silence by Don DeLillo.  Set in the near future, five people are gathered together in a Manhattan apartment in the midst of a catastrophic event.

A time for mercy by John Grisham.  Court-appointed lawyer Jake Brigance puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line to defend a 16 year old suspect who is accused of killing a local deputy and is facing the death penalty.

To sleep in a sea of stars by Christopher Paolini.  Kira Navarez might be the only one who can save the Earth and its colonies from being destroyed.

Until summer comes around by Glenn Rolfe.  A family of vampires terrorizes the seaside town of Old Orchard Beach in this tale of adolescent romance and murder.

Vince Flynn: total power by Kyle Mills.  When America’s power grid is shut down, Mitch Rapp goes after a cyber terrorist.

NEW MUSIC CDs

Bigger love by John Legend

The genius of Ray Charles by Ray Charles

The best of Kansas

NEW DVDs

Fosse/Verdon (2020)  starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams

Marriage story (2019) starring Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern

Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig

Colewell (2019) starring Karen Allen

NONFICTION:

The boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse by Charlie MacKesy.  A journey for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.

Children of ash and elm by Neil Price.  With clarity and verve, this examines various aspects of Viking society.  An exemplary history that gives a nuanced view of a society long reduced to a few clichés.

Eleanor by David Michaelis.  A break-through portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving First Lady, an avatar of democracy whose ever-expanding agency as diplomat, activist, and humanitarian made her one of the world’s most widely admired and influential women.

The home edit life by Clea Shearer.  This is both for those who love to organize in their free time and those who want to get organized but feel they just can’t make the time.

How to astronaut by Terry Virts.  A former astronaut offers a mixture of science and adventure in this guide to space travel.  Divided into sections on training, launch, orbit, space-walking, deep space, and re-entry.

I will run wild by Thomas Cleaver.  This is a vivid narrative history of the early stages of the Pacific War, as U.S. and Allied forces desperately tried to slow the Japanese onslaught that began with the sudden attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

A knock at midnight by Brittany Barnett.  An urgent call to free those buried alive by America’s legal system, and an inspiring true story about unwavering belief in humanity from a young lawyer and important new voice in the movement to transform the system.

Librarian tales by William Ottens.  An insider’s look at one of the most prevalent, yet commonly misunderstood institutions.  Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of librarian Ottens’ experience working behind the service desks and in the stacks of public libraries.

Loving sports when they don’t love you back by Jessica Luther.  Revealing some of the ugliest truths about professional sports.  An incisive, damning indictment of the world’s most popular past-times.

Modern comfort foods by Ina Garten.  The cook updates some of the comfort foods we grew up with.

The secret lives of planets by Paul Murdin.  A smooth survey of the planets and satellites.  Satisfying popular science, just right for the budding astronomer in the household.

That cheese plate will change your life by Marissa Mullen.  Creative gatherings and self-care with the cheese by numbers method.

Weird Earth by Donald Prothero.  Debunking strange ideas about our planet such as a moon landing hoax, flat earth, hollow earth, Atlantis, dowsing, and more.

New Children’s Books 

PICTURE BOOKS

Bedtime bonnet by Nancy Redd

Bo the brave by Bethan Woollvin

Cozy by Jan Brett

Federico and the wolf by Rebecca Gomez

Hurry up! by Kate Dopirak

A last goodbye by Elin Kelsey

Letters from Bear by Gauthier David

Lift by Minh Le

Madeline Finn and the therapy dog by Lisa Papp

My big family by Yanitzia Canetti

Nasla’s dream by Cecile Roumiguiere

Peter and the tree children by Peter Wohlleben

A quiet girl by Peter Carnavas

Rain Boy by Dylan Glynn

The run by Barroux

Short & sweet by Josh Funk

Sid Hoff’s Danny and the dinosaur ride a bike by Bruce Hale

Southwest sunrise by Nikki Grimes

Ty’s travels : All aboard! by Kelly Lyons

Where happiness begins by Eva Eland

While you’re away by Thodoris Papaioannou

 CHAPTER BOOKS

Percy Jackson’s Greek gods by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson’s Greek heroes by Rick Riordan

Raising Lumie by Joan Bauer

Revenge of the enginerds by Jarrett Lerner

A wish in the dark by Christina Soontornvat

NON-FICTION

It’s a numbers game! Basketball by James Buckley, Jr.

Lost cities by Giles Laroche

The ocean in your bathtub by Seth Fishman

On your mark, get set, gold! by Scott Allen

Play in the wild by Lita Judge

A rainbow of rocks by Kate DePalma

A thousand glass flowers: Marietta Barovier and the invention of the Rosetta bead by Evan Turk

GRAPHIC NOVELS

The battle of the labyrinth by Rick Riordan

The last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The lightning thief by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Titan’s curse by Rick Riordan

JUVENILE DVDs

Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood: Explore the outdoors (2020) The Fred Rogers Company.

Red shoes and the seven dwarfs (2020) starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Claflin.

The secret garden (2020) starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.

Trolls world tour (2020) voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review.

CLASSIC HORROR MOVIES FOR THE SPOOKY SEASON

It always starts with the big three: Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolfman and all made in the 1930s.  No gore, no jump shots, no slashers.  Just a feeling of dread that overwhelms you as the movie weaves its spell.

Some of my favorite quotes from them:

Dracula – “ I don’t drink…..wine.”

Frankenstein – “It’s alive ! “

The Wolfman – “Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives, becomes a werewolf himself.”

Of course these classics begat more of the same, from the serious such as The Bride of Frankenstein to the comedic Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Horror movies continued in the same vein until the 1950s when the world began to worry about nuclear fallout, pollution, and problems with the environment.   Suddenly we had disturbed The Creature from the Black Lagoon, insects were becoming enormous and deadly – Them! and Tarantula, and despite what was happening to the planet, aliens wanted to take over our bodies (Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

Personally, I am a fan of the sub-genre classic haunted house movies.  Check out the original versions of The Uninvited, House on Haunted Hill, and The Haunting.

Some of my favorites from the 1960s are Carnival of Souls, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Psycho, and Rosemary’s Baby.  The 1970s began to be more graphic in the depiction of horror but without being too graphic, my pants were still scared off by the last episode in Trilogy of Terror with the Zuni fetish doll, the original John Carpenter’s version of The Fog, and Alien (“In space, no one can hear your scream.”)

The 1960s was a transitioning decade for horror films.  Not until the late 70s and the arrival of the movies Halloween and Scream, did horror films turn into “slasher films”.  The horror was now all blood and gore, jump shots, and screaming teenagers.  Too bad.  Classic horror movies took time to build the thrills and chills.  It’s what you DON’T or CAN’T see that is far more terrifying in your head.

Since 1980 the only horror film that comes to my mind to recommend would be Tremors from 1989 because it blends humor with the scares so successfully.

What classic horror film of yours have I missed?

 

Celebrate Banned Books

Banned Books Week (September 27 – October 3, 2020) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. (ALA)

How did Banned Book Week Start?

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

Banned books were showcased at the 1982 American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California. At the entrance to the convention center towered large, padlocked metal cages, with some 500 challenged books stacked inside and a large overhead sign cautioning that some people considered these books dangerous.

Drawing on the success of the exhibit, ABA invited OIF Director Judith Krug to join a new initiative called Banned Books Week, along with the National Association of College Stores. The three organizations scrambled to put something together by the September show date and ended up distributing a news release and a publicity kit, hoping that with their combined membership of 50,000 people, they could continue to spark a conversation about banned books.

The initiative took off. Institutions and stores hosted read-outs, and window displays morphed into literary graveyards or mysterious collections of brown-bagged books. Major news outlets such as PBS and the New York Times covered the event, and mayors and governors issued proclamations affirming the week. (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned)

Here is a small sample of some of the top Novels of the 20th Century that have been challenged, removed, banned, or burned.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Reason: “Coarse language, racial stereotypes and use of racial slurs.”

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Reason: “profanity, offensive and obscene passages referring to abortion, and used God’s name in vain.”

 Beloved by Toni Morrison

Reason: “depicted the inappropriate topics of sex, bestiality, and racism.”

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Reason: “themes of Communism, racism and atheism.”

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Reason: “obscenity and vulgarity, racism, and anti-religion, anti-family, and blasphemous content.”

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Reason: “Themes of homosexuality, alcoholism, infidelity.”

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Reason: “”anti-white, profanity, sexual scenes, things concerning moral issues, excessive violence, and dealings with the occult.”

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Reason: “Reasons: profanity, descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture, and negative images of black men.”

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Reason: “Obscene language, references to smoking and drinking, violence, and religious themes.”

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Reason: “violence, sexually explicit material, infanticide, euthanasia, occult related themes, and usage of mind control, selective breeding, and the eradication of the old and young when they are weak, feeble and of no more use.”

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Reason; “recurring themes of rape, masturbation, violence, and degrading treatment of women.”

The Grapes of Wrath  by John Steinbeck

Reason: “book uses the name of God and Jesus in a “vain and profane manner along with inappropriate sexual references.”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reason: “reference to drugs, sexuality, and profanity”

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Reasons “homosexuality, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group”

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Reason: “Violence, sexual content, and obscene language.”

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Reason: “profanity and images of violence and sexuality.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reason:  profanity, contains adult themes such as sexual intercourse, rape, and incest, use of racial slurs promotes racial hatred, racial division, racial separation, and promotes white supremacy.”

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Reason: “profanity, sexuality, racial slurs, and excessive violence.”

Native Son by Richard Wright

Reason: “profanity, violence, explicit sexual content.”

1984 by George Orwell

Reason “Reason: pro-communism ideas, explicit sexual matter.”

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Reason: “blasphemous, offensive language, racism, violence, and sexual overtones.”

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Reason: “offensive and obscene passages referring to abortion and used God’s name in vain.”

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Reason: “depictions of torture, ethnic slurs, and negative portrayals of women.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Reason: “profanity and sexual explicitness.”

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Reason: “Misogyny, encouraging disobedience, violence, animal cruelty, obscene language, and supernatural themes.”

For a more in-depth list visit: LibraryThing Book Awards : Radcliffe Publishing Course top 100 of the 20th Century

Did any of the books on this list surprise you?

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned

Just for fun, here are a few banned book themed word searches!

New Items ~ October 2020

FICTION

All the devils are here by Louise Penny.  Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec investigates a sinister plot in the City of Light.

Bear necessity by James Gould-Bourne.  A feel-good story about coping with grief that focuses on the love between a dad and his son and how it can lead to friendship.

Before she was Helen by Caroline Cooney.  Clemmie is a 70something, semi-retired Latin teacher, a spinster living in a somnolent Florida retirement community.  But there must be more to her.  Why else is she rattled when she learns that a cold case is coming back to life?

Cactus Jack by Brad Smith.  A 30something single woman, the untried colt she inherits, a horse crazy little girl, and their band of misfits and has-beens stick it to the establishment in the cut-throat world of horse racing.

Celine by Peter Heller.  She is nearly 70, has emphysema from years as a smoker, and she’s never too far from her oxygen tank.  She’s a blue blood and a sculptor.  She’s also a private eye in this smart, comic mystery.

Dear Ann by Bobbie Ann Mason.  A meditation on one woman’s life choices and the road she didn’t take.

Death at high tide by Hannah Dennison.  Two sisters inherit an old hotel in the remote Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall and find it full of intrigue, danger, and romance.

The exiles by Christina Baker Kline.  Three young women are sent to the fledgling British penal colony of Australia in the 1840s.

Fast girls by Elise Hooper.  This celebrates three unheralded female athletes in a tale spanning three Olympiads.

The haunted lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart.  Someone’s trying to kill the head of the Fairbanks estate, and only her nurse can protect her.  A superior example of the plucky-heroine-in-an-old-dark-house school.

His and hers by Alice Feeney.  A brilliant cat-and-mouse game.  There are two sides to every story:  yours and mine, ours and theirs, his and hers.  Which means someone is always lying.

The killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah.  Lovers of classic whodunits will hope that the author will continue to offer her take on the great Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.

The lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis.  When rarities disappear, a curator at the New York Public Library, who grapples with her grandmother’s legacy, uncovers new truths about her family heritage.

The lying life of adults by Elena Ferrante.  In this coming-of-age story, Giovanna seeks her true reflection in tow kindred cities.

The new American by Micheline Marcom.  The epic journey of a young Guatemalan American student, a “dreamer”, who gets deported and decides to make his way back home to California.

The new wilderness by Diane Cook.  This explores a moving mother-daughter relationship in a world ravaged by climate change and overpopulation.

One by one by Ruth Ware.  Ware does what she does best – gives us a familiar locked-door mystery setup and lets the tension and suspicion marinate until they reach fever pitch.

Payback by Mary Gordon.  A novel of lifelong reckoning between two women.  It contrasts the 1970s world of upper-class women’s education with the #MeToo era.

Royal by Danielle Steel.  In 1943, the 17 year old Princess Charlotte assumes a new identity in the country and falls in love.

Shadows in death by J.D. Robb.  Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past….

Someone to romance by Mary Balogh.  Pitch-perfect – a riveting, fast-paced narrative.  Regency fans will be delighted.

Squeeze me by Carl Hiaasen.  A dead dowager, hungry pythons, and occupants of the winter White House shake up the Palm Beach charity ball season.

Thick as thieves by Sandra Brown.  Arden Maxwell returns home to uncover the truth about her father’s involvement in a heist that went wrong 20 years ago.

Troubled blood by Robert Galbraith.  Private detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwell when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974.

NEW DVDs

A simple favor (2018) starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively

Q: the winged serpent (1982) starring Michael Moriarty and Candy Clark

Dead of night (1945) starring Michael Redgrave

Hester Street (1975) starring Carol Kane and Steven Keats

The private life of Henry VIII (1933) starring Charles Laughton

NEW MUSIC CDs

Rough and rowdy ways by Bob Dylan

Gaslighter by Dixie Chicks

100 hits: the best 70s album

Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Country

NONFICTION

The beauty of living by J. Alison Rosenblitt.  Focusing on a brief period in the life of poet E.E. Cummings, notably his WW I experiences as a POW and ambulance driver, this sheds new light.  The horrors of gas warfare, mass slaughter, and illness bring new life to the American poet’s work.

A better man by Michael Black.  A radical plea for rethinking masculinity and teaching young men to give and receive love.

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson.  The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

The detective in the dooryard by Timothy Cotton.  Stories about the people, places and things of Maine.  There are sad stories, big events, and even the very mundane, all told from the perspective of a seasoned police officer and in the wry voice of a lifelong Mainer.

Disloyal by Michael Cohen.  An account of being on the inside of Donald Trump’s world from his former personal attorney.

The dynasty by Jeff Benedict.  The history of the New England Patriots from NFL laughingstock to making 10 trips to the Super Bowl.

Faith instinct by Nicholas Wade.  How religion evolved and why it endures.

How we live now by Bill Hayes.  A poignant and profound tribute in stories and images to a city (NYC) amidst a pandemic.  The photos serve as potent documentation of an unprecedented time.

Kent State: four dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf.  A graphic novel telling of the day America turned guns on its own children: a shocking event burned into our national memory.

A Libertarian walks into a bear by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling.  Once upon a time, a group of libertarians got together and hatched a plan to take over an American town and completely eliminate its government in 2004.  They set their sights on Grafton, NH, a barely populated settlement with one paved road.  They overlooked one hairy detail: no one told the bears.

Looking for Miss America by Margot Mifflin.  A lively account of memorable Miss America contestants, protests, and scandals – and how the pageant, near its one hundredth anniversary, serves as an unintended indicator of feminist progress.

Mill Town by Kerri Arsenault.  The author writes of her hometown – Mexico, Maine.  This is an American story, a human predicament, and a moral wake-up call that asks:  what are we willing to tolerate and whose lives are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?

Rage by Bob Woodward.  Interviews with firsthand sources provide details about Trump’s moves as he faced a global pandemic, economic disaster, and racial unrest.

The ultimate retirement guide for 50+ by Suze Orman.  Winning strategies to make your money last a lifetime.

What it’s like to be a bird by David Sibley.  From flying to nesting, eating to singing – what birds are doing and why.

 

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review.

 

Home Schooling Information

Homeschooling vs. Distance-Learning

Though homeschooling and online schooling have similarities, and many people tend use these terms interchangeably, there are certainly some differences between the two.

Homeschooling is when a parent or other caregiver is physically present in the home and actively teaching the student. It is home education and the biggest difference is that the caregiver is the full-time instructor/primary educator.

Distance learning, also known as online schooling, is any form of remote learning where the student is not present at school but is being taught through communication with the school/teacher. With this type of learning students are asked to complete work that is similar to the work they do in the classroom. Students are expected to check-in with their teacher, complete structured assignments, and continue to meet learning objectives.

Homeschooling is regulated by the state rather than the federal government; this means that laws and regulations differ from state-to-state. You will need to look at the laws and regulations specific to Maine. Please visit the Maine’s Department of Education website.

How to Start Homeschooling in Maine

The steps to start homeschooling in Maine are the following:

1. File a written notice of intent to homeschool with your local school Superintendent. This notice of intent is a one-time thing, and must include the following information:

    1. The name, address, and signature of the parents (or guardian.)
    2. The student’s name and age.
    3. The date that home schooling will begin.
    4. A statement that says the parent/guardian will provide their student with at least 175 days of instruction per year.
    5. A statement that says the parent/guardian will cover the required subjects. (See below)
    6. A statement that says the parent/guardian will perform and submit a year-end assessment for each student. (See below)
    7. Keep a copy of this notice in your personal records. It must be available for view if the commissioner of education requests to see it.

The Notice of Intent form can be submitted in 2 ways :

a.) Manually – Print, fill out, and send (or drop off) a signed copy to your local Superintendent or the Home Instruction Consultant:

RSU 11/MSAD 11 Superintendent Details:

Name: Patricia Hopkins

Address: 150 Highland Ave.

Gardiner, ME 04345

Phone: (207) 582-5346

Fax: (207) 583-8305

Email: phopkins@msad11.org

(If your school is not part of RSU 11/MSAD 11 you can look up your superintendent information here: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Supersearch/Supersearch/Town)

Home Instruction Consultant,

Maine Department of Education

23 State House Station, Augusta, ME – 04333

Printable Form: https://www.maine.gov/doe/sites/maine.gov.doe/files/inline-files/homeinstruction-noticeofintent2019final_0.pdf

OR

b.) Electronically – Fill out and submit the form online

Online form: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/StudentData/HomeSchools/Schools/ParentGuardianForm?class=Custom

Each year thereafter, you will need to send a letter to the local school superintendent by September 1 which includes the following: a. a copy of the student’s year-end assessment, and b. a statement that you intend to continue homeschooling. Maine law dictates that a copy of the student’s year-end assessment, and the annual statement that you intend to continue homeschooling.be kept in your personal records.  It must be available for view if the commissioner of education requests to see it.

2(e). Teach the required subjects.

You must teach all of the following subjects:

Computer Proficiency (one time class to be taught between grades 7 and 12)

English and Language Arts

Fine Arts

Library Skills

Maine Studies (One time class to be taught between grades 6 and 12)

Math

Physical Education and Health

Science

Social Studies

3(f). Submit a year-end assessment.

For your child’s year-end assessment, you can:

1.) Submit the official results of any national standardized achievement test.

2.) Submit the results of a test developed by local school officials.

3.) Submit a review and acceptance of progress letter by: 1.)  a Maine certified teacher; 2.) a homeschool support group that includes a Maine certified teacher or administrator who has reviewed a portfolio of the student’s work; or 3.) a local advisory board appointed by the superintendent composed of two homeschool teachers and one school official (this must be arranged with the school district before the school year starts).

For more information please visit the Maine’s Department of Education website: https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/schoolops/homeinstruction/requirements

We’ve built a small collection of the most highly utilized or highly reviewed free and paid educational resources for homeschooling and/or supplemental learning.

FREE HOMESCHOOLING RESOURCES

A2Z Homeschooling:

The A2Z Homeschooling website has rounded up a large collection of free: websites, videos, games, printables, projects, field trips and more that cover language arts, math, social studies, science, fine arts, health & fitness, foreign languages, and computer literacy to help make homeschooling easier, cheaper, and fun.

Website: A2Z Homeschooling

 AmblesideOnline:

AmblesideOnline is a free homeschool curriculum that uses Charlotte Mason’s classically-based principles. AO’s detailed schedules, time-tested methods, and extensive teacher resources allow parents to focus effectively on the unique needs of each child

Website: Ambleside Online

The Big History Project:

The Big History Project is a free, online social studies course for middle- and high-school students. Run the course over a full year or semester, or adapt it to your child’s needs. Use teacher-generated lessons or create your own using the content library. Everything is online, so content is always available, up to date, and easy to download. The Big History Project helps users meet Common Core ELA standards from the ground up, starting with the learning outcomes, and including assessment and lesson activities.

Website: The Big History Project

Chrome Music Lab

Chrome Music Lab is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. Educators are able to use Chrome Music Lab as a tool to explore music and its connections to science, math, art, and more.

Website: Chrome Music Lab

CK-12

CK-12 is committed to providing free access to open-source content and technology tools that empower students as well as teachers to enhance and experiment with different learning styles, resources, levels of competence, and circumstances.

Website: CK12

Core Knowledge:

The Core Knowledge Curriculum Series™ provides comprehensive, content-rich learning materials based on the Core Knowledge Sequence. Student readers, teacher guides, activity books, and other materials are available for Language Arts and History and Geography.

Website: Core Knowledge

Discovery K12:

Discovery K12 Offers a free non-Common Core, traditional, secular curriculum that integrates STEM and the Arts without the use of any textbooks and requires no lesson planning for grades K-12. Their lessons cover 7 standard subjects including Reading/Literature, Language Arts, Math, History/Social Studies, Science, Visual/Performing Arts and Physical Education, and their Extra Curriculum includes Spanish 1, HTML Coding, Healthy Living, Personal Finance, Business Apps, and Business 101. (*There is the option of creating a teacher/parent account for $99 per year, however it is not required.)

Website: Discovery K12

Easy Peasy:

Easy Peasy is an all-in-one elementary homeschool curriculum’s lesson plan/printables website. Easy Peasy uses only free resources to cover reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, math, history/social studies/geography, science, Spanish, computer, music, art, PE/health, and logic.

Website: Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool

Funbrain:

Funbrain is a site created for kids in grades Pre-K through 8, Funbrain.com has been the leader in free educational games for kids since 1997, offering hundreds of games, books, comics, and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy

Website: Funbrain

HippoCampus

HippoCampus.org is a core academic website that delivers rich multimedia content–videos, animations, and simulations–on general education subjects free of charge to students in middle-school and high-school. While HippoCampus is not a credit-granting organization, and therefore does not monitor, grade, or give transcripts to anyone using the site, it is still used by many home schooling families as content to supplement or guide their home curriculum. – The website covers subjects such as Math, Natural Science, Social Science, and Humanities.

Website: HippoCampus

Home Educator:

There are hundreds of free government resources that homeschoolers can take advantage for lesson plans, activities and more The Home Educator website has broken down resources by grade levels and categories that include health, biology/nature, earth science, astronomy, economics, American government/history, fine arts, and more.

Website: HomeEducator

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op

The Homeschool Buyers Co-Op website has put together a database of free curriculum and other educational resources such as websites, videos, games, printables, projects, online interactive lessons, and virtual tours. These curriculum/resources include the subjects of language arts, math, social studies, history, science, art, and music.

Website: Home School Buyer Co-Op

Khan Academy:

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computing, history, art history, economics, and more, including K-14 and test preparation (SAT, Praxis, LSAT) content.

Website: Khan Academy

Maine Connections Academy

Maine Connections Academy is the state’s first virtual public charter school for students grades 7-12. The program combines certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, engaging electives, and social experiences to create a supportive and successful online learning program for students and their families. As a public school there are no fees to attend, no tuition charges and no materials fees. MCA virtual school classes meet and exceed all national and state standards.

Website: Maine Connections Academy

PBS LearningMedia:

Maine PBS and WGBH have partnered to create PBS LearningMedia, a trusted source for PreK-12 classroom resources. It offers free and easy access to thousands of lesson plans, videos, interactives, and curated content collections to help you create one-of-a kind learning experiences for your students. Browse by age/grade, subject, and resource type.

Website: PBS Learning Media

SAS Curriculum Pathways

SAS Curriculum Pathways is available at no cost and used by thousands of educators in all 50 states. SAS Curriculum Pathways provides academic instruction of English, mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish. Social studies materials include an interactive atlas. In math, an interactive tool helps students develop basic algebra skills. Enhancements to the award-winning Writing Reviser in the English module help students master sentence fundamentals. Spanish materials help students develop reading and listening skills in real-world situations.

Website: Curriculum Pathways

Sheppard Software

The Sheppard Software website has hundreds of free, online, learning games (solitaire, brain teasers, puzzles, memory/matching games, etc.) for kids in a variety of subjects such as: math, science, language arts, health, nature/animals, geography, and more.

Website: Sheppard Software

Smithsonian Learning Lab:

The Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 9 major research centers, the National Zoo, creating content with online tools, and sharing in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning.

Website: Smithsonian Learning Lab

Starfall Education

Starfall Education offers activities for kids in pre-k through 3rd grade.Starfall activities are research-based and align with Individual and Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The program emphasizes exploration, play, and positive reinforcement—encouraging children to become confident and intrinsically motivated. (*There is the option of creating a $35 annual membership provides additional activities, however it is not required.)

Website: Starfall

WeAreTeachers

The WeAreTeachers website that has tons of resources for learning at home. The website will point users in the direction of fun websites, games, apps, virtual field trips, and hands-on activities to assist and extend the distance learning for student’s K-5. (*The website also provides a list of Children’s Authors doing online read-alouds & activities. You can view their list here: We Are Teachers Virtual Author Activities)

Website at: We Are Teachers

PAID HOMESCHOOLING RESOURCES

edHelper

Pre K – 6th $19.99 per year

8th – High school, and/or Special education materials $39.98 per year.

edHelper is an online subscription service that provides printable worksheets for teachers and homeschooling parents. edHelper offers a wide range of materials, including math, language arts, reading and writing, social studies, science, foreign language and more.

Website: Edhelper

Education.com

$15.99 per month or $119.88 per year.

Education.com caters to grades K-5 and has 30,000+ digital and printable learning resources. The websites offers both digital and printable worksheets and workbooks, digital games, interactive stories, lesson plans, weekly recommendations, and more.

(There is a Basic (free) membership allows users to access three free content downloads each month.)

Website: Education.com

Power Homeschool Services

$25 a month – 7 courses

Power Homeschool is a program intended to aid parents in homeschooling their student. Power Homeschool course materials are standards-based and provide a full online learning experience in each subject area. Each student may take up to seven courses simultaneously and the selection of courses may be adjusted at any time. Power Homeschool allows students to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. When a student struggles, the system provides additional instruction and practice as needed.

Website: Power Homeschool Services

Time4Learning

Pre K – 8th $19.95 per month / Highschool $30 per month

Time4Learning is an online, interactive curriculum for students in PreK-12th for homeschool, afterschool, and skill building. Time4Learning’s award-winning, comprehensive program offers a variety of math, language arts, science, social studies, electives, and foreign language through a combination of a 1000+ animated lessons, printable worksheets and graded activities.

Website: Time 4 Learning

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Some of our recent family friendly and educational blogs are linked below.

Virtual tours of: Museums, Zoos, Aquariums, National Parks, Historical Places/Landmarks, NASA Research Centers, and more!

Outdoor/Animal Webcams of Wildlife, Farm Life, Zoo Life, Iconic Landmarks, Lake Life, Ocean/ Sea Life, and more.

Apps for learning about: Wildlife, Birds, Bugs, Trees, Flowers/Mushrooms, Weather, The Night Sky and more.

As well as educational (and/or entertaining) apps and streaming services for both children and adults.

The Great Outdoors

Bring The Outdoors In

Looking For Something To Do

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Items ~ September 2020

 FICTION

The book of lost names by Kristin Harmel.  A young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this historical novel.

The daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz.  The evolving role of women in middle America in the second half of the 20th century is illuminated by the story of one Ohio family, its secrets and failures, its hopes and dreams.

Deadlock by Catherine Coulter.  A young wife, a psychopath, and three red boxes puzzle FBI agents Savich and Sherlock.

The end of her by Shari Lapena.  The parents of colicky twin girls have other troubles delivered in the form of suspicions surrounding the husband’s first wife’s death.

Girls of summer by Nancy Thayer.  One life-changing summer on Nantucket brings out exhilarating revelations for a single mother and her two grown children.

A good neighborhood by Therese Fowler.  A property line and a teenage romance strain relations between two North Carolina families.

Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle.  The story spools around two actual, horrific 1940 events:  The Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston and a train derailment in North Carolina.

Home before dark by Riley Sager.  A woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir.  Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed?  Or are there more earthbound – and dangerous – secrets hidden within its walls?

The house on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman.  When two families – one rich, one not – vacation together off the coast, little do they know that someone won’t be returning home.

Indigo by Loren Estleman.  This effortlessly melds film history with a whodunit, clever and surprising.  Film noir buffs will be in heaven.

It’s not all downhill from here by Terry McMillan.  After a sudden change of plans, a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life.

The living dead by George Romero.  He invented the modern zombie with Night of the Living Dead.  This novel is set in the present day and is an entirely new tale.

Mexican gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  In 1950s Mexico, a debutante travels to a distant mansion where family secrets of a faded mining empire have been kept hidden.

Near dark by Brad Thor.  With a bounty on his head, Scot Harvath makes an alliance with a Norwegian intelligence operative.

The order by Daniel Silva.  An art restorer and spy cuts his family’s vacation short to investigate whether Pope Paul VII was murdered.

The pull of the stars by Emma Donoghue.  In an Ireland of 1918 doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia works at an under-staffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new flu and are quarantined together.

The return by Rachel Harrison.  A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.  Going away to an isolated hotel to reconnect, it soon becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back.  But then who – or what – is she?

Sex and vanity by Kevin Kwan.  Here’s a nod to A Room with a View in which Lucie Tang Churchill is torn between her WASPY billionaire fiancé and a privileged hunk born in Hong Kong.

Silas Crockett by Mary Ellen Chase.  This traces life on the Maine coast through 4 generations of a seafaring family.

To wake the giant by Jeff Shaara.  The run-up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is depicted in a thrilling you-are-there re-creation.  Fans of military fiction will find much to enjoy.

Tomb of Gods by Brian Moreland.  The Egyptian tombs in 1935.  The atmosphere of a dark, claustrophobic tomb creates a scary story in which the character’s fear invites the reader into the world to experience the fright themselves.

28 summers by Elin Hilderbrand.  A relationship that started in 1993 between two people comes to light while she is on her deathbed and his wife runs for president.

A walk along the beach by Debbie Macomber.  After dealing with loss and setbacks, two sisters take risks on dreams and love.

Wonderland by Zoje Stage.  Shirley Jackson meet The Shining in his tense novel.  One mother’s love may be all that stands between her family, an enigmatic presence…and madness.

NONFICTION

The answer is… by Alex Trebek.  Who is the Canadian-American game show host whose pronunciation of the word “genre” has been shared widely on social media?

Begin again by Eddie Glaude.  An appraisal of the life and work of James Baldwin and their meaning in relationship to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Trump presidency.

Decoding your cat by Meghan Herron.  Experts explain common cat behaviors and reveal how to prevent or change unwanted ones.

18 tiny deaths by Bruce Goldfarb.  The story of a woman whose ambition and accomplishments far exceeded the expectations of her time.  This follows the transformation of a young, wealthy socialite into the mother of modern forensics.

The gift of forgiveness by Katherine Pratt.  An inspiring book on learning how to forgive – with firsthand stories from those who have learned to let go of resentment and find peace.

Grandpa magic by Allan Kronzek.  116 easy tricks, amazing brainteasers, and simple stunts to wow the grandkids.

The life of William Faulkner by Carl Rollyson.  This follows Faulkner from his formative years through his introduction to Hollywood.  It sheds light on his unpromising youth and provides the fullest portrait yet of his family life and marriage, showing that his career as a screenwriter influenced his novels.

Like crazy by Dan Mathews.  A hilarious and heartbreaking memoir about an outlandish mother and son on an odyssey of self-discovery, and the rag-tag community that rallied to help them as the mother entered the final phase of her life.

The Lost Kitchen by Erin French.  Here’s the history, complete with recipes, of the famous small restaurant in Freedom, Maine.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.  Ways to understand and possibly counteract white privilege.

Stamped from the beginning by Ibram Kendi.  The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

This is Chance! by Jon Mooallem.  The thrilling cinematic story of a community shattered by disaster – the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska – and the extraordinary woman who helped pull it back together.

To start a war by Robert Draper.  How the Bush Administration took American to war in Iraq.

Troop 6000 by Nikita Stewart.  The inspiring true story of the first Girl Scout troop founded for and by girls living in a shelter in Queens, New York, and the amazing, nationwide response that it sparked.

The unidentified by Colin Dickey. A tour of the country’s most persistent “unexplained” phenomena – mythical monsters, alien encounters, and our obsession with the unexplained.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review.

 

Are you looking for something to read? 

As many of you know, we are open with limited access.  We are still open with our Pick-Up Window, at the rear of the building, as well.

Many of us (staff as well as patrons) have been keeping lists of items we would like to borrow from the library, or libraries when you include the Minerva lending system.  I know that my list grew rather rapidly, and by the time the items were available for requesting, there were many other folks ahead of me in the queue.

So, that led me to . . . .

What can I find to read/watch/listen to RIGHT NOW!!

As I have worked at the Pick-Up Window over the past weeks, I know that is the same question many others have as well.

As staff brainstormed how to best answer that question for you, our users, we realized several things.

Some people just don’t care what they are reading as long as it has more content than the back of the cereal box.

And . . .

Each of us has an area of “expertise”, so to speak, of what might work for different wants and needs of our Gardiner Library Friends.

On that vein, we have begun creating what we are referring to at “Binge Bags”.  Basically, it is a bag with 3 – 6 items on the same theme.  The items might be all books, though there are movies, music, and audio books included as well.  Some of these bags are items specific to floor – by this I mean Children’s, Young Adult or Adult floor, and some bags have a mix of age ranges.

So, what type of themes am I talking about?  Let’s see, so far, I know there is a bag of items pertaining to the 1970s, a bag of Fall/Autumn items, 2 bags of School items (one Adult and one Children), gentle mysteries, as well as several others.

In the works, there are collections to include Spies ; Humor ; 1920s ; Harry Potter ; Maine ; as well as several others.

If you’re interested in one of our Binge Boxes, check at the Pick-Up Window, or give us a call – 207-582-3312 – and we’ll put together a bag of items for you.

Opening Soon!!

Beginning the week of August 10th, the library will be open for folks to enter the building.

Hours of operation at this time will be – – –

Monday thru Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. people may enter the building.

Pick-Up Window – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10 a.m. to 5:25 p.m.

Wednesday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You may return items during the above listed times

Our services and hours have been adjusted in the interest of best service and of safety for the public and staff.

We are following the CDC guidelines in re-opening the building.

Below are our opening guidelines ~~

* Currently, the only entrance to the building is at the rear, as you come in from the parking lat.

* We will be maintaining a contact sheet, per CDC guidelines.

* We are allowed a maximum of 10 patrons in the Adult area of the library at a time.

* Each person will be allowed a 30-minute visit at this time.

* The Children’s Room will be open, by appointment only, beginning the week of August 31st.  Each appointment will be for one family at a time, with a maximum of seven people per family.

* The Community Archives will be completely by appointment beginning August 10th – 207.582.6890

* Public computers, printing and restroom are not available at this time.

* Masks are absolutely MANDATORY,

* We will still have our Pick-up Window available, so if for any reason you feel uncomfortable entering the building, please let us know, and we will continue to have items available to those who are interested.

* Please return all books and library materials in the book drop before entering.

* All items will be quarantined for 4 days before checking in.

No overdue fines will accrue during this period.

New Items ~ July 2020

FICTION

All adults here by Emma Straub.  A funny and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family – as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes.

The ancestor by Danielle Trussoni.  A bewitching gothic novel of suspense that plunges readers into a world of dark family secrets, the mysteries of human genetics, and the burden of family inheritance.

The astonishing life of August March by Aaron Jackson.  An irrepressibly optimistic oddball orphan is thrust into the wilds of postwar New York City after an extraordinary childhood in a theater.  (Think Candide by way of John Irving, with a hint of Charles Dickens.)

Beach read by Emily Henry.  A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever after.

Big summer by Jennifer Weiner.  A poignant and unputdownable novel about the power of friendship, the lure of frenemies, and the importance of making peace with yourself through life’s ups and downs.

Blindside by James Patterson.  The mayor of New York has a daughter who’s missing and in danger.  Detective Michael Bennett has a son who’s in prison.  The two strike a deal.

The book of V by Anna Solomon.  A kaleidoscopic novel intertwining the lives of three women across 3 centuries as their stories of sex, power, and desire finally converge in the present day.

The business of lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey.  In this road trip across L.A. there are deep conversations, adult situations, and a sweet love story at every turn.

Close up by Amanda Quick.  Welcome to Burning Cove, California where 1930s Hollywood glamour conceals a ruthless killer….

Dance away with me by Susan Phillips.  Two people determined to withdraw from society instead discover the power of human connection in this deeply felt romance.

The goodbye man by Jeffery Deaver.  Reward-seeker Colter Shaw infiltrates a sinister cult after learning that the only way to get somebody out…is to go in.

Guests of August by Gloria Goldreich.  Five families come together for a summer vacation that will change their lives forever in this tale of love, loss, and hope.

The henna artist by Alka Joshi.  In 1950s Jaipur, a young woman who escaped an abusive marriage and started a new life is confronted by her husband.

Hideaway by Nora Roberts.  A family ranch in Big Sur country and a legacy of Hollywood royalty set the stage for this suspense novel.

The house on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman.  When two families – one rich, one not – vacation together off the coast of South Carolina, little do they know that someone won’t be returning home.

How much of these hills is gold by C Pam Zhang.  Set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape – trying not to just survive but to find a home.

How to pronounce knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa.  Spare, unsentimental, and distilled to riveting essentials, these stories honor the surreal, funny, often wrenching realities of trying to build a life far from home.

The jetsetters by Amanda Ward.  When Charlotte wins a Mediterranean cruise, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her adult children.  Each character’s dysfunctions run deep, and each plot twist threatens to sink their sanity, resulting in a funny, moving tale of the complications of familial love.

The last trial by Scott Turow.  A brilliant courtroom chess match about a celebrated criminal defense lawyer and the prosecution of his lifelong friend – a doctor accused of murder.

The love story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey.  Here is a love story of the most important kind: that of coming to love oneself through accepting and returning the love of others – be it people or dogs.

Murder at the Mena House by Erica Neubauer.  Well-heeled travelers from around the world flock to the Mena House Hotel – an exotic gem in Cairo where cocktails flow, adventure dispels the aftershocks of World War I, and deadly dangers wait in the shadows.

The murder of twelve by Jessica Fletcher.  Jessica takes on an Agatha Christie-style mystery when she finds herself stranded in a hotel during a blizzard with 12 strangers and a killer in their midst.

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld.  A compelling what-might-have-been:  what if Hilary Rodham HADN’T married Bill Clinton?

The second home by Christina Clancy.  Told through the eyes of 3 siblings, this title captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again.  It is about second homes, second families, and second chances.

The shooting at Château Rock by Martin Walker.  When a local’s troubling death is linked to a Russian oligarch and his multinational conglomerate, Chief Bruno faces one of his toughest cases yet, one that brings together a French notary and a rock star – and of course, Bergerac red and white.

The sight of you by Holly Miller. A romantic and page-turning novel that poses a heartbreaking question:  Would you choose love, if you knew how it would end?

A tender thing by Emily Neuberger.  Set under the dazzling lights of late 1950s Broadway where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art.

Three things I know are true by Betty Culley.  Life changes forever for Liv when her older brother, Jonah, accidentally shoots himself with the gun of his best friend’s father.

A week at the shore by Barbara Delinsky.  This explores how lives and relationships are forever changed when 3 sisters reunite at their family Rhode Island beach house.

NEW DVDs

The lighthouse (2019) starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe

Little women (2019) starring Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson

Doctor Sleep (2019) starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson

Roma (2018) starring Marina de Tavira

Star Wars: the rise of Skywalker (2019) starring Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

1917 (2019) starring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman

NEW NONFICTION

The age of Phillis by Honoree Jeffers.  A collection of original poems speaking to the life and times of Phillis Weatley, a Colonial America-era poet brought to Boston as a slave.

Dark mirror by Barton Gellman.  A well-documented account on the far-reaching impact of US domestic surveillance and the resulting intrusions of privacy.

A delayed life by Dita Kraus.  A story of survival that is rare in its coverage of life before and after the Holocaust, addressing the difficult question of what comes after such a tragedy.

Dirt by Bill Buford.  A hilariously self-deprecating, highly obsessive account of the author’s adventures in the world of French haute cuisine, for anyone who has ever found joy in cooking and eating food with their family.

Dress your best life by Dawnn Karen.  How to use fashion psychology to take your look – and your life – to the next level.

Home is a stranger by Parnaz Foroutan.  Unmoored by the death of her father and disenchanted by the American Dream, Foroutan leaves Los Angeles for Iran, 19 years after her family fled the religious police state brought in by the Islamic Theocracy.

In the name of God by Selina O’Grady.  A groundbreaking book on the history of religious tolerance and intolerance that offers an essential narrative to understanding Islam and the West today.

Kooks and degenerates on ice by Thomas Whalen.  Here to celebrate the 50th anniversary – it’s Bobby Orr, the big bad Boston Bruins, and the Stanley Cup championship that transformed hockey.

Rental style by Chelsey Brown.  This doubles as a décor piece and handy design guide and shows readers how to decorate and organize small, rented spaces on a budget.

Sigh, gone by Phuc Tran.  For anyone who has ever felt like they don’t belong, this shares an irreverent, funny, and moving tale of displacement and assimilation woven together with poignant themes from beloved works of classic literature.  The author now lives in Portland, Maine.

24 by Willie Mays.  A memoir by the Baseball Hall of Famer told in 24 chapters to correspond with his well-known uniform number.

Warhol by Blake Gopnik.  The definitive bio of a fascinating and paradoxical figure, one of the most influential artists of his – or any – age.

Notes from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, and New York Times Book Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective

Short of walking a mile in another’s shoes, reading someone’s story is one of the best ways to gain understanding. Reading the work of Black authors can help the world to better understand both the difficulties and achievements of people of color in America. From classic artists to new voices and leaders, this list includes a wide range of voices and insights, as well as a variety of genres.  We hope you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.

 

Well-Read Black Girl

by Glory Edim

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives—but not everyone regularly sees themselves in the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.

“Yes, Well-Read Black Girl is as good as it sounds. . . . [Glory Edim] gathers an all-star cast of contributors—among them Lynn Nottage, Jesmyn Ward, and Gabourey Sidibe.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Fire Next Time

by James Baldwin

At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.

“So eloquent in its passion and so scorching in its candor that it is bound to unsettle any reader.” –The Atlantic

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

“Kiley Reid has written the most provocative page-turner of the year….[Such a Fun Age] nestl[es] a nuanced take on racial biases and class divides into a page-turning saga of betrayals, twists, and perfectly awkward relationships….The novel feels bound for book-club glory, due to its sheer readability. The dialogue crackles with naturalistic flair. The plotting is breezy and surprising. Plus, while Reid’s feel for both the funny and the political is undeniable, she imbues her flawed heroes with real heart.” —Entertainment Weekly

 

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

“Extraordinary . . . [Coates] writes an impassioned letter to his teenage son—a letter both loving and full of a parent’s dread—counseling him on the history of American violence against the black body, the young African-American’s extreme vulnerability to wrongful arrest, police violence, and disproportionate incarceration.”— The New Yorker

 

Red at the Bone

by Jacqueline Woodson

An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other. Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson’s taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.

 

“In less than 200 sparsely filled pages, this book manages to encompass issues of class, education, ambition, racial prejudice, sexual desire and orientation, identity, mother-daughter relationships, parenthood and loss….With Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson has indeed risen — even further into the ranks of great literature.” – NPR

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

By Ibram X. Kendi

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America–it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

“An engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in America…. The greatest service Kendi [provides] is the ruthless prosecution of American ideas about race for their tensions, contradiction and unintended consequences.”―Washington Post

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Invisible Man

By Ralph Ellison

A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood”, and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.

“Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, and sadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison’s first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It’s also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world is a tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: “And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?” –Melanie Rehak (New York Times best-selling author)

 

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Jennifer L. Eberhardt

How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society—in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.

“Combining storytelling with a deep dive into the science of implicit bias, Eberhardt explains how bias and prejudice form—and she describes their pernicious effects on all of us. But she doesn’t stop at the problem: Her book shines a spotlight on what we can do to fight bias at a personal and institutional level.”—Greater Good Magazine

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Homegoing

by Yaa Gyasi

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half-sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.

Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

“[Toni Morrison’s] influence is palpable in Gyasi’s historicity and lyricism; she shares Morrison’s uncanny ability to crystalize, in a single event, slavery’s moral and emotional fallout. . . . No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country.” —Vogue

 

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

By Patrisse Khan-Cullors  &  Asha Bandele

Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, Patrisse’s outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.

Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin.

Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country―and the world―that Black Lives Matter

“This is a story of perseverance from a woman who found her voice in a world that often tried to shut her out. 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 Magazine

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. – NYT

 

So You Want to Talk About Race

By Ijeoma Oluo

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

“Oluo gives us–both white people and people of color–that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.”

–National Book Review

 

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

by ZZ Packer

Her impressive range and talent are abundantly evident: Packer dazzles with her command of language, surprising and delighting us with unexpected turns and indelible images, as she takes us into the lives of characters on the periphery, unsure of where they belong. We meet a Brownie troop of black girls who are confronted with a troop of white girls; a young man who goes with his father to the Million Man March and must decide where his allegiance lies; an international group of drifters in Japan, who are starving, unable to find work; a girl in a Baltimore ghetto who has dreams of the larger world she has seen only on the screens in the television store nearby, where the Lithuanian shopkeeper holds out hope for attaining his own American Dream.

“ZZ Packer writes a short story with more complexity and kindness than most people can muster in their creaking 500-page novels. It is the kind of brilliance for narrative that should make her peers envious and her readers very, very grateful.”—Zadie Smith  (New York Times best-selling author)

 

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.

 

“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama

 

Loving Day

By Mat Johnson

Warren Duffy has returned to America for all the worst reasons: His marriage to a beautiful Welsh woman has come apart; his comics shop in Cardiff has failed; and his Irish American father has died, bequeathing to Warren his last possession, a roofless, half-renovated mansion in the heart of black Philadelphia. On his first night in his new home, Warren spies two figures outside in the grass. When he screws up the nerve to confront them, they disappear. The next day he encounters ghosts of a different kind: In the face of a teenage girl he meets at a comics convention he sees the mingled features of his white father and his black mother, both now dead. The girl, Tal, is his daughter, and she’s been raised to think she’s white.

“[Mat Johnson’s] unrelenting examination of blackness, whiteness and everything in between is handled with ruthless candor and riotous humor.”—Los Angeles Times

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

by Michelle Alexander

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.

“Rothstein’s work should make everyone, all across the political spectrum, reconsider what it is we allow those in power to do in the name of ‘social harmony’ and ‘progress’ with more skepticism… The Color of Law shows what happens when Americans lose their natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or in the case of African-Americans, when there are those still waiting to receive them in full.” – American Conservative

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

By Barack Obama

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

“Beautifully crafted . . . moving and candid . . . This book belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride’s The Color of Water and Gregory Howard Williams’s Life on the Color Line as a tale of living astride America’s racial categories.”—Scott Turow

 

Behold the Dreamers

By Imbolo Mbue

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

“A witty, compassionate, swiftly paced novel that takes on race, immigration, family and the dangers of capitalist excess.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

 

 

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

By Crystal Marie Fleming

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.”

“Fleming offers a crash course in what will be a radically new perspective for most and a provocative challenge that should inspire those who disagree with her to at least consider their basic preconceptions . . . . A deft, angry analysis for angry times.” —Kirkus Reviews

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Brown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

“The Warmth of Other Suns is a brilliant and stirring epic, the first book to cover the full half-century of the Great Migration… Wilkerson combines impressive research…with great narrative and literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.”— Wall Street Journal

 

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

By Janet Mock

With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.

“An eye-opening and unapologetic story that is much greater than mere disclosure…. An enlightening, much-needed perspective on transgender identity.”, Kirkus Reviews

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy)

By Marlon James

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that’s come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that’s also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.

“Black Leopard, Red Wolf is bawdy (OK, filthy), lyrical, poignant, violent (sometimes hyperviolent), riotous, funny (filthily hilarious), complex, mysterious, and always under tight and exquisite control…A world that is both fresh and beautifully realized….Absolutely brilliant.” —LA Times

 

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

By Charles M. Blow

Charles M. Blow’s mother was a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, and a job plucking poultry at a factory near their segregated Louisiana town, where slavery’s legacy felt close. When her philandering husband finally pushed her over the edge, she fired a pistol at his fleeing back, missing every shot, thanks to “love that blurred her vision and bent the barrel.” Charles was the baby of the family, fiercely attached to his “do-right” mother. Until one day that divided his life into Before and After—the day an older cousin took advantage of the young boy. The story of how Charles escaped that world to become one of America’s most innovative and respected public figures is a stirring, redemptive journey that works its way into the deepest chambers of the heart.

 “Some truths cannot be taught, only learned through stories – profoundly personal and startlingly honest accounts that open not only our eyes but also our hearts to painful and complicated social realities. Charles Blow’s memoir tells these kinds of truths. No one who reads this book will be able to forget it. It lays bare in so many ways what is beautiful, cruel, hopeful and despairing about race, gender, class and sexuality in the American South and our nation as a whole. This book is more than a personal triumph; it is a true gift to us all.” – Michelle Alexander (author of The New Jim Crow)

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Nickel Boys

By Colson Whitehead

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.

Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

“Whitehead’s magnetic characters exemplify stoicism and courage, and each supremely crafted scene smolders and flares with injustice and resistance, building to a staggering revelation. Inspired by an actual school, Whitehead’s potently concentrated drama pinpoints the brutality and insidiousness of Jim Crow racism with compassion and protest. . . . A scorching work.” —Booklist, starred review

 

How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice from White People

By D.L. Hughley, Doug Moe

In America, a black man is three times more likely to be killed in encounters with police than a white guy. If only he had complied with the cop, he might be alive today, pundits say in the aftermath of the latest shooting of an unarmed black man. Or, Maybe he shouldn’t have worn that hoodie … or, moved more slowly … not been out so late … Wait, why are black people allowed to drive, anyway? With so much heartfelt guidance flying around, it seems there’s been a failure to communicate.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. White people have been giving “advice” to black folks for as long as anyone can remember, telling them how to pick cotton, where to sit on a bus, what neighborhood to live in, when they can vote, and how to wear our pants. Despite centuries of whites’ advice, it seems black people still aren’t listening, and the results are tragic.

Now, at last, activist, comedian, and New York Times bestselling author D. L. Hughley offers How Not to Get Shot, an illustrated how-to guide for black people, full of insight from white people, translated by one of the funniest black dudes on the planet. In these pages you will learn how to act, dress, speak, walk, and drive in the safest manner possible. You also will finally understand the white mind. It is a book that can save lives. Or at least laugh through the pain.

“In his hilarious yet soul-shaking truth-telling book, Hughley touches on politics, race, and life as a black American as only he can.” – Black Enterprise

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America

by Ibi Zoboi

Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.

Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America. (less)

“A compilation of short stories that offers unique perspectives on what it means to be young and black in America today. Each entry is deftly woven and full of such complex humanity that teens will identify with and see some of their own struggles in these characters. The entries offer a rich tableau of the black teen diaspora in an accessible way.” –  School Library Journal

 This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Americanah

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

“Masterful. . . . An expansive, epic love story. . . . Pulls no punches with regard to race, class and the high-risk, heart-tearing struggle for belonging in a fractured world.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

“Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude as it insightfully examines two worlds in collision. An inarguably important book that demands the widest possible readership.” – Booklist

 

Five-Carat Soul

By James McBride

The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives.

“McBride delivers pure gold… Five-Carat Soul shakes with laughter, grips with passion and oozes wisdom.” —Shelf Awareness

 

Don’t Call Us Dead

By Danez Smith

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality―the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood―and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “Some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America―“Dear White America”―where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.

“These poems can’t make history vanish, but they can contend against it with the force of a restorative imagination. Smith’s work is about that imagination―its role in repairing and sustaining communities, and in making the world more bearable. . . . Their poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy. . . . But they also know the magic trick of making writing on the page operate like the most ecstatic speech.”―The New Yorker

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

By Clemantine Wamariya

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old

“Heartbreaking and honest, this important memoir explores the lasting effects that trauma and destruction have on an individual and emphasizes the human ability to overcome it all and build a new future—even when that new life comes with horrors of its own.” -Real Simple

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Underground Railroad

By Colson Whitehead

Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.

“The Underground Railroad enters the pantheon of . . . the Great American Novels. . . . A wonderful reminder of what great literature is supposed to do: open our eyes, challenge us, and leave us changed by the end.” —Esquire

 

Devil in a Blue Dress

By Walter Mosley

Set in the late 1940s, in the African-American community of Watts, Los Angeles, Devil in a Blue Dress follows Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend’s bar, wondering how he’ll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

Devil in a Blue Dress, a defining novel in Walter Mosley’s bestselling Easy Rawlins mystery series, was adapted into a TriStar Pictures film starring Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins and Don Cheadle as Mouse.

“The social commentary is sly, the dialogue is fabulous, the noir atmosphere so real you could touch it. A first novel? That what they say. Amazing. Smashing.” – Cosmopolitan

 

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

By Anissa Gray

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband, Proctor, are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.

“The inequities of the justice system, the fortitude of women of color, and the bittersweet struggle to connect are rendered ravishly in this bighearted novel.” —Oprah Magazine

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

By Sara Collins

All of London is abuzz with the scandalous case of Frannie Langton, who is accused of the brutal double murder of her employers, renowned scientist George Benham and his eccentric French wife, Marguerite. Crowds pack the courtroom, eagerly following every twist, while the newspapers print lurid theories about the killings and the mysterious woman being held in the Old Bailey.

The testimonies against Frannie are damning. She is a seductress, a witch, a master manipulator, a whore. Frannie claims she cannot recall what happened that fateful evening, or how she came to be covered in the victims’ blood, even if remembering could save her life.

But she does have a tale to tell: a story of her childhood on a Jamaican plantation, her apprenticeship under a debauched scientist who stretched all bounds of ethics, and the events that brought her into the Benhams’ London home—and into a passionate and forbidden relationship.

Though her testimony may seal her conviction, the truth will unmask the perpetrators of crimes far beyond murder and indict the whole of English society itself

 “A well-crafted, searing depiction of race, class and oppression.” – New York Times

 

Secrets We Kept

By Krystal Sital

There, in a lush landscape of fire-petaled immortelle trees and vast plantations of coffee and cocoa, where the three hills along the southern coast act as guardians against hurricanes, Krystal A. Sital grew up idolizing her grandfather, a wealthy Hindu landowner. Years later, to escape crime and economic stagnation on the island, the family resettled in New Jersey, where Krystal’s mother works as a nanny, and the warmth of Trinidad seems a pretty yet distant memory. But when her grandfather lapses into a coma after a fall at home, the women he has terrorized for decades begin to speak, and a brutal past comes to light.

Violence, a rigid ethnic and racial caste system, and a tolerance of domestic abuse―the harsh legacies of plantation slavery―permeate the history of Trinidad. On the island’s plantations, in its growing cities, and in the family’s new home in America, Secrets We Kept tells a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and most of all, the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past.

 “One reads Sital’s story appalled and moved by the suffering of these indomitable women…A reader can only applaud the author who has so skillfully preserved them in such loving, precise detail.”

– New York Times

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

How to Be an Antiracist

By Ibram X. Kendi

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society

“What do you do after you have written Stamped From the Beginning, an award-winning history of racist ideas? . . . If you’re Ibram X. Kendi, you craft another stunner of a book. . . . What emerges from these insights is the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind, a confessional of self-examination that may, in fact, be our best chance to free ourselves from our national nightmare.”—The New York Times

This title has been ordered, but is not currently available at Gardiner Public Library.

 

Have an author/book we didn’t include? Please let us know in the comments!