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Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

This Time for the Grown Ups: Here’s a few books I read. You might be surprised.

Believe it or not, I don’t ALWAYS read books for kids. Sometimes I read books for grown ups too, it’s my guilty pleasure, kinda like champagne. If you’re curious about what I read for adults but don’t post here, you’re in luck, cuz here they are:

The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasionby Simon MarshallLesley Paterson

You don’t have one brain—you have three; your ancient Chimp brain that keeps you alive, your modern Professor brain that navigates the civilized world, and your Computer brain that accesses your memories and runs your habits (good and bad). They fight for control all the time and that’s when bad things happen; you get crazy nervous before a race, you choke under pressure, you quit when the going gets tough, you make dumb mistakes, you worry about how you look.

What if you could stop the thoughts and feelings you don’t want? What if you could feel confident, suffer like a hero, and handle any stress? You can.

The Brave Athlete from Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson will help you take control of your brain so you can train harder, race faster, and better enjoy your sport. Dr. Marshall is a sport psychology expert who trains the brains of elite professional athletes. Paterson is a three-time world champion triathlete and coach. Together, they offer this innovative, brain training guide that is the first to draw from both clinical science and real-world experience with athletes.

I loved this book. I highly recommend The Brave Athlete it for everyone who wants to learn how to calm down. Athlete or no.

 

Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl’s Guide to Positive Body Image by Elizabeth Walling

Do you feel trapped by body hate? Are negative body thoughts taking over your life? Let’s face it: body hate is ugly. It steals your time, your money and your peace of mind. Most of all, it can hold you back from living your dreams and leading the life you truly desire.

Love Your Body tackles the negative thought patterns that cause you to feel anxious, discouraged and downright miserable about your appearance. It’s a simple, common-sense guide to learning how the way you think affects how you feel about your body (and your life!).

It was interesting. If you have a young person in your life going through body changes this might help.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale was a re-read for me. I’d initially read it when it came out; in college. Book club wanted to read it and I thought it would be interesting to read it now as an “adult”. Some of the 80s  feminist ideas seem dated today but still a thought provoking book. I’ve yet to watch the TV series.

 

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

The Last Black Unicorn is SO FUNNY! Be advised it’s not for young teens: it’s raunchy. Take a listen and decide for yourself. I hope Tiffany becomes the biggest star on the planet because she is funny, a doll and deserves so much goodness. I want her to be my new bestie.

 

Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes

 

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

IDK how I never got around to reading this when it came out! I’m also dying to see the movie only bc  Finnick is in it. I love English writers, they have a way of making themselves quirky and endearing at the same time; someone you could totally be friends with, that is, unless I am that character (remember Bridget Jones?). So much heartfelt fun.

 

 

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

…The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in “orchestrated chaos” with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. “Mommy,” a fiercely protective woman with “dark eyes full of pep and fire,” herded her brood to Manhattan’s free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion–and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother’s footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents’ loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all-black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. “God is the color of water,” Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life’s blessings and life’s values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth’s determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college–and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

The Color of Water, is, like The Handmaid’s Tale, a book that you should get around to reading. Most high schoolers have had to read these in school. For good reason: there’s so much to learn about the human condition, your past and race. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll find someone in the rich tale to identify with.

As you can see, many of these books would qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge, if you were doing an adult version; which you totally CAN and SHOULD. Are you surprised by these titles?

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.