Wednesday, April 19, 2017

make sense

At The Boys Club of New York, Gerry Clubhouse, there is a new teen library. The library was in need of books, so I began to think: "What teen books help make sense of the world today?" That's a big question.

What teen books help make sense of the world today? From Donald Trump to Brexit to Black Lives Matter and America First, there's an acute feeling that the world is becoming more difficult to understand. What teen books humanize and boil down big topics like: immigrants as scapegoats; the mass incarceration of black men; the misogynistic treatment of women; the discrimination of the LGBT community.

Is there cause for optimism? Is there a chance for empathy, compassion, and mercy?

Here's a list of the books I sent to The Gerry Clubhouse's new teen library. I think it would make a great summer reading list for teens trying to makes sense of the world today:

Home Of The Brave by Katherine Applegate

The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander 

Booked by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

House Arrest by K.A. Holt

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

The Boy In The Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor

Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

So, that's the list. Let me know what you think. I believe I should have included graphic novels... maybe next time. I hope these books help the world make a little more sense. Just as there are no miracle cures, there are no scapegoats. 

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