Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge
Twenty-First Century Books
Published January 1, 2017
Prom serves as an important tradition for youth in America today. This book explores the history of the social event as well as its evolving trends while giving a spotlight to students and community members who worked hard to create integrated proms which protect and encourage LGBT student participation. Adults reflect on their prom experiences, some dating back to the Great Depression, and share tips and memories for today’s Prom attendees. Current trends like “promposals” and dress registries get a nod as well as some creative prom dress-making challenges and programs to provide dresses for girls who couldn’t … Continue reading
Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality
Alison Marie Behnke
Twenty-First Century Books
Published January 1, 2017
Media and political activists have worked hard to bring attention to the issue of racial profiling in America. Profiling occurs when details about someone’s racial identity are used as reason to treat them differently. Sometimes this happens when police assume a person of a particular race must be guilty of a crime before any investigation takes place. The real statistics about how many people experience racial profiling can be staggering. In this book, Behnke carefully defines racial profiling and explains what it is and areas of the community … Continue reading
Brown Girl Dreaming
Nancy Paulsen Books
Published August 28, 2014
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite … Continue reading
Liked: Whose Approval are You Living For?
Published November 15, 2016
Maintaining an online presence through social media can be tricky to navigate no matter your age. Author Kari Kampakis presents advice to teen girls about using social media in a way that’s godly and healthy, too. She discusses ways to keep priorities straight—making sure life doesn’t become about how many “likes” you accrue on a post or photo. She discusses how to handle relationship issues that can arise from miscommunication or thoughtlessness on social media. Through each page, Kampakis shares her wisdom like a cheerleader, making the reader feel like she’s totally on your side and wants … Continue reading
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things
Published September 22, 2015
It doesn’t seem possible to write a hilarious book about depression and anxiety, but that’s exactly what author Jenny Lawson has done in Furiously Happy. Her wacky adventures fill the pages and her unique view of herself and the world around her challenge readers to embrace their own weird. She has a keen sense of irony and writes in a rambling-yet-engrossing way. She takes readers through the highs and lows of book tours, a trip to Australia, and the challenges of depression and anxiety in daily life.
I think I read this book at exactly the right time. I’d seen it … Continue reading
Girl Talk: 52 Weekly Devotions by FaithGirlz
Lois Walfrid Johnson
Published May 4, 2010
A while back I reviewed a girls’ bible study that left me disappointed—both in the appropriateness of the subject matter for the age group and in some of the teaching. Since then I’ve been on the hunt for a devotional or study that my eleven-year-old and I could do together, something that addresses some of the issues she faces on a daily and weekly basis.
Girl Talk is set up in chapters, one for each week. Each chapter begins with a story in which the main character faces an obstacle or choice. Sometimes the story ends with … Continue reading
Irena’s Children: Young Readers Edition
Tilar J Mazzeo
Translated by Mary Cronk Farrell
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available September 27, 2016
During World War II, Irena Sendler worked with an underground network to rescue 2,500 Jewish children from Nazi occupied Poland. Her unwavering commitment to human rights began long before the war, and endured through her own incarceration and torture. She worked tirelessly to save as many as she could, and through it all insisted that she was not a hero. She’d only done what any ordinary human would do.
Though it’s nonfiction, I could not put this book down. I was so captured by the life of this incredible woman … Continue reading
30 Days of Goodness, Grace and Love: A Faithgirlz Bible Study
This Bible study contains three parts. Part one explores the power of goodness through the book of Colossians. In part two, the author explores love via the story of Ruth. Part three teaches about the power of grace through the book of 1 Peter. Each part is broken down into sections, one for each chapter. Each section contains “bites,” smaller, more focused portions. The author suggests completing one bite per sitting. Each section closes with a review to complete with a friend or Bible study group.
I’m not sure why the title says 30 Days. I expected the … Continue reading
Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
Sunju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland
Available: September 13, 2016
Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; … Continue reading
I Wish My Teacher Knew
De Capo Lifelong Books
Available July 12, 2016
When her Twitter post became a social media sensation, Kyle Schwartz realized that her classroom exercise asking students what they wished she, their teacher, knew about them was something other teachers and students needed in their classrooms. In her book, Schwartz explores what led her to performing the exercise with her class. She explains how it has changed her experience as a teacher. She breaks down her approach to building a community within her classroom and how important that is to supporting a successful learning environment.
The chapters also connect current research about trauma, … Continue reading