Books

My son has a collection of memoirs by individuals with autism spectrum disorder that never leave his nightstand. They offer comfort and inspiration whenever he needs a boost. In honor of April being Autism Awareness Month and the upcoming World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, here's a look at some of these much-loved titles.

(Balzer + Bray, 9780062570604, $17.99, available April)

"Dread Nation is not just a zombie story; you could have weeks of book group meetings and still be talking about it. Ireland is an author to keep your eyes on. She writes with meaning, intention, and spark. Her characters leap off the page and demand attention.

What we believe: "People who are smart and strong enough are able to rise above the past and triumph through the force of their own will and resilience." In The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term Effects of Childhood Adversity(Bluebird, $21.90), Nadine Burke Harris says, "But with caveats." Childhood adversity can affect physical development, trigger chronic inflammation and hormonal changes, alter how cells replicate, and dramatically increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's. "Even bootstrap heroes find themselves pulled up short by their biology." Burke Harris wanted to know why; she found the answers in her pediatric clinic in a low-income community of color in San Francisco.

Spring is coming, and for me that typically means a little vacation. Passport in one hand, Global Entry number in the other, I'm ready to book (the cheapest) flights anywhere in the world. A couple years ago I went to Berlin, last year London. This year: Beijing!

(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316262286, $16.99, available April)

"Ghost Boys is a devastating novel. But it is also hopeful, full of compassion, and a compelling case for the fact that 'we can all do better, be better, live better.' Jerome's story is heartbreaking, and the telling of it is necessary, just as the telling of Emmett Till's story is necessary, though it so often goes untold. Rhodes has crafted a beautiful novel that will facilitate many conversations with young people; Ghost Boys is essential for the middle school classroom as well as for family discussion. This is a novel to be shared with children; read it with them, discuss it with them, and together we can gain the tools we need in order to live better." --Michelle Cavalier, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist. Her debut novel, Freshwater (Grove Atlantic, February 13, 2018), is an Indie Next selection and has been listed as a most anticipated book of 2018 by EsquireELLECosmopolitanHuffington Post, the Rumpus and Bustle, among others. Her short story "Who Is Like God" won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa.

“Guess Who, Mr. Dinosaur?” Now Available. 

It’s never too early to tap into your passion and pen your first book – just ask young author, Christopher Isaiah Penn Smith. At just four years old, Smith took his fascination for dinosaurs and published his first book entitled, “Guess Who, Mr. Dinosaur?” â€œMy love for dinosaurs inspired me to write this book,” says Smith. “I hope people of all ages enjoy it and learn something new about my favourite animals.”

  • Title: The Colour of Shadows: Images of Caribbean Slavery. 
  • Author: Judy Raymond. 
  • Publisher: Caribbean Studies Press. 
  • Reviewed by: Dawn A. Davis. 

Trinidadian journalist and scholar Judy Raymond offers a snapshot of life as a slave in the Caribbean during the 19th century. With documentary images from Richard Bridgens, an Englishman who lived in Trinidad during the period and who was a slave owner, “The Colour of Shadows: Images of Caribbean Slavery” unearths details in vivid hues.

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