Picks of the Week as published in The Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald
FEBRUARY 2, 2017 – Black History Month
“The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat” by Edward Kelsey Moore
Clarice, Barbara Jean, and Odette were known in high school as “the Supremes”. Forty years later, they’re still the best of friends. The difficulties they face have changed with the times, but their friendship has endured. As they each face a new season in their life, what new challenges will it bring? Will their friendship still survive?
“Been There Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times” by Al Roker and Deborah Roberts
In today’s society, the family unit is much small than in times past. Family stories, traditions, and advice are no longer easily passed on. In some cases, they have ceased to exist. Al Roker and his wife, Deborah Roberts, have written a book filled with their experiences as children, adults, a couple, and parents. Read what has worked (and not worked) for them. From marriage and family to work and friendships, you’re sure to find a story or bit of advice that resonates with you.
“Pasadena” by Sherri L. Smith
Maggie Kim is found dead, floating face down in her family’s swimming pool. Her family says it’s a tragic accident. Her friends suspect it’s a suicide. Only her best friend, Jude, is convinced she was murdered. How is she going to prove it? And what ugly secrets will come to light in the process?
“Garrett Morgan” by Sarah L. Schuette
Whenever you pull up to a red light, you should thank Garrett Morgan. Why? Read this book to find out!
FEBRUARY 9, 2017 – Black History Month
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
What if the Underground Railroad had been exactly that – a railroad hidden deep in the earth used to rescue those enslaved against their will. What would the stops look like? How strong would slaves have to be to endure the journey? Colson Whitehead describes the horrors of slavery against the backdrop of hope in this incredible novel of fact and fiction.
“We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel” by Herb Frazier, Bernard Edward Powers Jr., Ph.D., and Marjory Wentworth
The catastrophic events of June 17, 2015, at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, are just one of the trials faced by the oldest AME church in the Deep South. Mother Emanuel’s history is filled with trials and triumphs in their quest to bring the forgiveness, grace, and freedom of God to a nation bound by injustice. Read this story of their legacy and glimpse their future in this book.
“Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America” by Russell Freedman
In honor of its fiftieth anniversary, Russell Freedman has written a detailed pictorial account of the freedom march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Read the stories of both victory and defeat, written in the blood of those championing the right to vote for all Americans.
“As Brave As You” by Jason Reynolds
Eleven-year-old Genie and his older brother, Ernie, are spending their summer in North Hill, Virginia, with their grandparents. Coming from big-city Brooklyn, New York, they’re not so sure that country living is for them. However, their grandparents’ home is more than just a house with a chore list longer than the day. It’s a home rich with the history of a family that has sung, suffered, and sorrowed. Before the summer is over, Genie and Ernie will realize how privileged they are to be part of this legacy.
FEBRUARY 16, 2017 – Black History Month
“Charcoal Joe” by Walter Mosley
Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins has started a new detective agency with partners Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly. Between his new business and his plans to propose to his girlfriend, life is sweet. However, things begin to go sour when a friend introduces Easy to Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son Seymour is charged with murder, after having been found standing over the dead man’s body. Seymour claims he’s innocent. Can Easy prove it?
“An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, A Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny” by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
Laura Schroff is busily going about her life, trying to manage an overfull schedule. When she’s approached by a young, hungry boy looking for food, she almost doesn’t stop. Yet, something draws her to his plight. One good Samaritan trip to McDonald’s turns into years of bonding, sharing and love. Read this incredible story of a childless mother and a motherless son and the invisible thread that binds them.
“Booked” by Kwame Alexander
Nick Hall is the star soccer player at this school, and life looks pretty good…until it doesn’t. Facing his parent’s divorce, trying to overcome a bully, and juggling sports, friends, and girlfriends have Nick totally booked. Read this fast-paced novel-in-verse all about life in high school.
“I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery” by Cynthia Grady
There is a great deal of speculation on the use of quilt patterns as aids to escaping slaves. Cynthia Grady explores some of these ideas in this book of verse, using quilt blocks as her pattern for each poem. Each poem is followed by facts and folklore that bring depth to its meaning.
FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – Black History Month
“War Room: Prayer is a Powerful Weapon” by Chris Fabry
Realtor Elizabeth Jordan and her sales rep husband, Tony, are on the fast track to success. They have a beautiful home and a wonderful daughter. From the outside looking in, their life seems perfect; but, underneath all the worldly signs of success, trouble is brewing. Tony’s discontent is about to erupt into temptation. Elizabeth feels helpless as their marriage begins to unravel. Then, Elizabeth meets Clara; and, Clara gives her a whole new perspective…and power.
“My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir” by Clarence Thomas
Clarence Thomas was born in rural Georgia and sent to live with his grandparents at a young age. Their patriotism and perseverance inspired in Clarence a desire to serve God and his country in the legal field. Once thrown into the deep end of political controversy, Clarence needs all the determination instilled by his grandfather to weather the media storm. Pick up this biography to read his amazing story.
“Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of Black American Artists” by Tonya Bolden
“Wake Up Our Souls” is a celebration of the works and lives of more than thirty African-American artists. Their stories span from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century. Their talents range from sculpting and painting, to folk art, ceramics and photography. Pick up this wonderful introduction to African-American artists and enjoy the amazing works reproduced within its pages.
“Freedom in Congo Square” by Carole Boston Weatherford
In New Orleans during the 1800’s, there was a special law called the “Code Noir”. This law set Sundays aside for worship and declared the day free from work for slaves. In their joy, slaves would gather in a place called Congo Square and celebrate with clapping, singing, music, and dance.