We Recommend

Fiction

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Cover of 'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness

"Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill--an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss."

This book was simply stunning, powerful in ways I did not expect, and I could not put it down. I highly recommend it for anyone, but especially people who have experienced loss.

Recommended by - Michael DiMuzio, Youth Librarian

The Fireman - Joe Hill

Cover of 'The Fireman' by Joe Hill

"The people in charge can always justify doing terrible things in the name of the greater good. A slaughter here, a little torture there. It becomes moral to do things that would be immoral if an ordinary individual did ‘em."

The brilliant Joe Hill (Horns, NOS4A2, and the comic book Locke & Key) has another winner in his most recent novel The Fireman. A terrifying new plague of unknown origins has spread like wildfire across the globe, millions of people are infected with this deadly and beautiful Dragonscale. The infection is highly contagious and untraceable until it's too late, the rich black and gold markings appear on the infected before causing them to burst into flames. There is no antidote, no known prevention of infection. No hope.

After being infected, nurse Harper Grayson finds herself on the run from her crazed husband who blames her for his own infection and is taken in by a mysterious man known only as the Fireman who has somehow managed to control the Dragonscale and use it as his own power, protecting those who have learned to live in harmony with the disease from the uninfected who mean to exterminate them.

Joe Hill has a gift for written word, able to create vivid and compelling worlds with his fluid paragraphs. Despite its bulk, The Fireman is a quick and intense read that leaves a burn in your heart long after it's over.

Recommended by - Ren, Staff member

Nonfiction

Between the world and me - Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Cover for 'Between the World and Me' by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. In this short memoir, the "Atlantic" writer explains that the tragic examples of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and those killed in South Carolina are the results of a systematically constructed and maintained assault to black people--a structure that includes slavery, mass incarceration, and police brutality as part of its foundation.

From his passionate and deliberate breakdown of the concept of race itself to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Coates powerfully sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States. A timely work, this title will resonate with all teens--those who have experienced racism as well as those who have followed the recent news coverage on violence against people of color.

Recommended by - Michael DiMuzio, Youth Librarian

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