Posts Tagged ‘#bookclub’

Celebrate stories of multiracial families with book club picks for all ages from Decatur’s Better Together Advisory Board and Little Shop of Stories. 📚✨

Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

Adults and teens

The title of comedian and late-night host Trevor Noah’s memoir gets at the central conflict of his early life: in apartheid-era South Africa, his parents weren’t allowed to marry, so his very existence was against the law. Just like his comedy, this book is sharp, funny, alarming and bracingly honest. What’s fresh here is a personal side to Mr. Noah that is most apparent in his loving descriptions and tales of his mother. The book was originally published as an adult title, but its popularity has led to a young reader’s edition particularly aimed at late-middle grade to early teen readers.




Blended, by Sharon Draper

Middle grade

Paige, a Little Shop of Stories customer, explains why this is her favorite book: “Isabella, the main character, is biracial, just like me. Never have I ever read a book about a biracial girl before! Isabella’s mom is white, and her dad is black, like mine. I connected with Isabella when she talked about the weird glances and ignorant remarks she would get just for being mixed. I connected when she talked about her hair and how not every curl is the same! I connected when she talked about never feeling whole or accepted. ‘When you’re always looked at as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole?’ You feel alienated sometimes, like being called ‘too white’ or ‘too black,’ when you know you are both. Like having to circle the ‘other’ circle on standardized tests. I connected so deeply to Isabella in a way I have never connected before. I would love to hug and thank Ms. Draper for writing this incredible book.”




The Case for Loving, by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls

Picture book

The Case for Loving, a picture book about the marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving, is different from most nonfiction picture books. The writing is straightforward, even poetic in its plain spoken phrasing, and the art does a wonderful job of conveying this world of conflict and legal wrangling in ways that suggest explanation and prompt discussion.


Books are available for purchase at Little Shop of Stories, 113 E. Court Square. littleshopofstories.com



About Loving Day

Loving Day – the largest multiracial celebration in the United States – is held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia. Vindicating the marriage of Mildred and Richard Loving, a black woman and white man, the Court struck down state laws across the country banning interracial marriage.

At the time Loving was decided, only three percent of couples in the country had intermarried. By 2015, 17% of newlyweds in the U.S. had a spouse from a different racial background. That same year, one in seven (or 14%) of infants in the U.S. were multiracial, up from 5% in 1980. The 2000 Census was the first that allowed individuals to identify with more than one race, and in the 2010 US census, approximately 9 million individuals, or 2.9% of the population, self-identified as multiracial. The Census Bureau estimates that the number of people doing so will triple by 2060.

Like so many cities in the U.S., Decatur is home to many interracial couples and multiracial individuals and families who live at the intersection of different identities and cultures. The community is invited to join in the celebration of their rich and wonderful stories. In honor of Loving Day, the Better Together Advisory board is offering several related book recommendations from Little Shop of Stories.

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Read along with book club picks from Decatur’s Better Together Advisory Board and Little Shop of Stories. These books honor National Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and celebrate the rich culture and values that Asians and Pacific Islander immigrants and decedents add to our communities. 📚✨


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin
Young Minli decides to leave her small village to find out how she might change her family’s fortune by seeking out the wisdom of the Old Man on the Moon. Inspired by Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a lush and fantastical tale of friendship, perseverance, and family. This illustrated book is aimed at middle grades (ages 8-12), but is the perfect read aloud for even the youngest listeners.


Drawn Together, by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
Facing both a language and generational barrier, a boy and his Vietnamese grandfather learn to communicate through their shared love and passion for drawing and art. Seeking to understand each other, they both find that “all the things we could never say come pouring out and we build a new world that even words can’t describe.” This picture book is aimed at ages 4-8.


The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui
Like many of the best memoirs of the last 10 years, artist Thi Bui’s achingly beautiful memoir of her family’s escape from Vietnam and subsequent immigration to the United States as refugees is a graphic novel. Her soulful brushstrokes and strong use of color expose the difficulty in maintaining any sense of self amidst cultural and personal upheaval. A great read for adults, it touches on universal themes of family, love, and growing up.


Books are available for purchase at Little Shop of Stories, 113 E. Court Square. littleshopofstories.com

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April Book Club

📚✨ This month’s Better Together book club picks help create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT youth.


Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack. A charming picture book with a Prince who discovers his knight in shining armor. This beautifully illustrated book makes room different sorts of love stories.


Star-Crossed, by Barbara Dee. Mattie is a twelve year old who’s sorting out her newfound crush on Gemma, the girl cast as Juliet in her school’s production of Romeo & Juliet. It all comes to a head when Mattie’s cast as Romeo because the boy playing the part drops out. A fun, lightly played midgrade novel.



Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, by Jaye Robin Brown. When Joanna’s Dad’s new marriage moves the family from Atlanta to Rome, Georgia, she agrees to “lie low” and not be quite the out and proud lesbian she had been at her Atlanta high school. But then she starts to fall for Mary Carlson– and maybe Mary’s falling for Jo too? We love this book and author Jaye Robin Brown! Her newest book, The Meaning of Birds, will be out this spring, and she’ll be here at Little Shop on April 24th.


Jack (not Jackie), by Erica Silverman & Holly Hatam. Big sister Susan is excited to have a new baby sister, someone she share fun things like dresses and fairies with. But as Jackie gets older, Susan struggles with her sibling identifying more as Jack than Jackie. This picture book is great for anyone, but particularly families looking for an excellent introduction to the issues of gender identity.



Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt. This nonfiction biography of actress and activist Nicole Maines, by Pulitzer prize-winner Amy Ellis Nutt, is not only a fantastic portrait of an extraordinary young woman and her exceptional family, but is also a great resource for families looking for the voices of those negotiating the world of gender identity questions and issues when you have a child in transition.



Every Day, by David Levithan. Every day, the character “A” spends their life as a different person, and they’ve gotten used to it over time. Then, one fateful day, A meets Rhiannon, and now they’ll do anything to get back to her. But, when A does, can Rhiannon accept that A will look like a different person every day? This is a modern classic of YA literature, by a giant of the genre.


From Decatur’s Better Together Advisory Board:

Creating a safe and supportive environment for LGBT youth

Statistics from the Human Rights Council’s recent report, Growing Up LGBT in America, indicate there is much work to be done to create more inclusive and hospitable communities for LGBT-identified youth. According to the report:

  • 80 percent of LGBT-identified youth are harassed at school.
  • 73 percent of LGBT youth report that they are more honest about themselves online than when they are engaging with others in the real world.
  • 92 percent of LGBT youth declared that they hear and read negative messages about being LGBT at school and from their peers.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved. School environments that lack a sense of belonging and are riddled with teasing and bullying have a significant impact on students’ ability to learn and emotionally thrive.

Since 1996, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has annually sponsored a Day of Silence on the third Friday of April to generate greater awareness about the horrendous effects that bullying and harassment have on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students.

That’s why the Better Together Advisory Board and Little Shop of Stories are partnering this month to present a collection of books that can aid us as we work to create safer and more supportive schools in Decatur. We hope that you will learn more about the history of the Day of Silence and use it as an opportunity to read one of the outstanding books recommended this month. You can find all of them at Little Shop of Stories, 133 E. Court Square, or online at littleshopofstories.com/shop-online.

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