Cy Williams is not a slave, but his life is far from his own. Growing up in Georgia in the 1890s, he knows that the cruel white plantation owner his father works for could throw him in jail or even kill him in a second.
No part of Malcolm X’s life was free from conflict and contradiction, including his childhood. Raised in a spiritual and pacifist home, Malcolm grew up to espouse a more violent philosophy in pursuit of social justice and died violently himself. Malcolm Little tells the story of his early years as part of a large, loving family whose lives were torn apart by racial aggression. This lovely, inspiring book reveals how young Malcolm was able to draw on inner resources to find himself.
In the opening scene of unflinching thriller Before My Eyes—eminiscent of the shooting at Gabby Giffords’ political rally in 2011a gunman pulls out a weapon at a Labor Day campaign rally for New York state senator Glenn Cooper. Who is the target? What is the motive? And how will the crowd react to and fare the tragedy? To answer these questions, author Caroline Bock takes readers back to the Friday that kicks off this holiday weekend on Long Island and the events that lead up to the gunman’s appearance.
Madeline Landry’s role in life has always been made clear: As the eldest (and only) child in the leading gentry family in society, she must have a successful debut, marry and beget an heir. It doesn’t matter that Madeline wants a university education. Her father isn’t interested in her arguments that knowing business will make her a better owner of the Landry Park estate, that understanding science will allow her to appreciate her grandfather’s invention of the nuclear technology behind the Cherenkov lantern, or that appreciating history will give her insights into the Last War, when America lost all its land west of the Rockies to the Eastern Empire.
Award-winning author Doreen Rappaport delivers another perfectly polished historical gem with To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt. In this impressive picture-book biography, she skillfully blends the personal and political stories of the nation’s 26th president, adding Roosevelt’s own words to the mix through quotes that enrich the narrative while delivering a sense of the plainspoken eloquence for which he was famous. (Proof that Teddy was ahead of his time in the sound-bite department: “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.”)
When we first meet Vasya Kandinsky in The Noisy Paint Box, he is dutifully studying math and history like “a proper Russian boy.” But when his aunt gives him a box of paints, the book’s color scheme shifts from dull blues and grays to bright reds and yellows. As a boy and later as a young man, Vasya can hear colors in a way that will later become known as synesthesia. Unlike his contemporaries, he’s not interested in painting houses or flowers or people; he wants to create works of art that aren’t supposed to be anything.
Twelve-year-old Jewel has never liked her birthday. Celebrating the day she was born is just another reminder to her family of the brother she never met, 5-year-old John, nicknamed Bird by her grandfather, who tried to fly off a cliff and fell to his death while her mother was in labor with Jewel. It’s more than loss and grief that surrounds Bird’s death; it’s superstition and blame that Jewel has never fully understood. Her grandfather hasn’t spoken since the day Bird died, and her father is sure the nickname “Bird” attracted a Duppy, a Jamaican spirit, that convinced him to jump.
Harbinger “Harry” Jones was in a childhood accident that left him externally scarred and broken inside. When he meets Johnny, their friendship leads to a spontaneous decision to form a band, which brings Harry out of his shell. Their burgeoning popularity is a pleasant surprise, but it opens up a subtle rift with his best friend. As The Scar Boys gain in popularity, their future grows ever less certain.
This lyrical tribute to Sugar Hill, the historic Harlem neighborhood of the 1920s and ‘30s, and its legendary inhabitants packs a lot of information with an economy of words and R. Gregory Christie’s colorful, stylized paintings.