Georgia Center for the Book

Monthly Featured Books & Resources

May 2024 Fea­tured Books

May 2024 Adult Featured

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured May 2024 Book All Geor­gians Should Read is the non­fic­tion book Mas­ter Slave Hus­band Wife by Ily­on Woo. This book tells the remark­able true sto­ry of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slav­ery through dar­ing, deter­mi­na­tion, and dis­guise, with Ellen pass­ing as a wealthy, dis­abled White man and William pos­ing as his” slave. Mas­ter Slave Hus­band Wife was one of The New York Timess 10 Best Books of 2023, a New York Times Best­seller, and named a best book of 2023 by The New York­er, Time, NPR, Smith­son­ian Mag­a­zine, and Oprah Dai­ly. Watch Ily­on dis­cuss the book here and here. Read an inter­view with her here.

May 2024 May Featured Kids

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured May 2024 Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read is the pic­ture book Dim Sum Palace by X. Fang. A lit­tle girl’s love of dim sum spills over into her dreams, tak­ing her on a fan­tas­ti­cal food-filled adven­ture, in this pic­ture book love let­ter to Mau­rice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen. Beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed with a gold foil cov­er, this is the per­fect gift for food­ies of all ages. More infor­ma­tion com­ing soon. Lis­ten to the author speak about the book here. Read an inter­view with her here.

April 2024 Fea­tured Books

April AGR Pick

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured April 2024 Book All Geor­gians Should Read is the poet­ry col­lec­tion Unusu­al­ly Grand Ideas by James Davis May. Titled after one of the side effects of anti­de­pres­sants, Unusu­al­ly Grand Ideas is a poignant account of clin­i­cal depres­sion and the com­pli­ca­tions it intro­duces to mar­riage and father­hood. James Davis May’s poems describe men­tal ill­ness with nuance, giv­ing a full account of the dark­ness but also the flash­es of hope, love, and even humor that lead toward heal­ing. In pieces rang­ing from spare lyri­cal depic­tions of pain to dis­cur­sive med­i­ta­tions that argue for hope, May search­es for mean­ing by ask­ing the dif­fi­cult but impor­tant ques­tions that both trou­ble and sus­tain us. Watch an inter­view with James as part of this pod­cast (about 5 min­utes in). Read more about the book here.

April AYGR

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured April 2024 Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read is the Young Adult mem­oir From Here by Luma Mufleh. In her com­ing-of-age mem­oir, refugee advo­cate Luma writes of her tumul­tuous jour­ney to rec­on­cile her iden­ti­ty as a gay Mus­lim woman and a proud Arab-turned-Amer­i­can refugee. As hope­ful as it is heartrend­ing, From Here is about one young woman’s search for belong­ing and the many mean­ings of home for those who must leave theirs. Lis­ten to an inter­view with Luma here. View a Ted Talk fea­tur­ing Luma here. Lis­ten to Luma talk about the book here.

March 2024 Fea­tured Books

March Feature

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured March 2024 Book All Geor­gians Should Read is Keep­ing the Chat­ta­hoochee: Reviv­ing and Defend­ing a Great South­ern Riv­er by Sal­ly Sier­er Bethea. Sal­ly was one of the first women in Amer­i­ca to become a river­keep­er” — a vocal defend­er of a spe­cif­ic water­way who holds pol­luters account­able. For two decades, Bethea worked to restore the neglect­ed Chat­ta­hoochee, which pro­vides drink­ing water and recre­ation to mil­lions of peo­ple, habi­tat for wildlife, and water for indus­tries and farms as it cuts through the heart of the Deep South. In Keep­ing the Chat­ta­hoochee, she pairs nat­ur­al and polit­i­cal his­to­ry with reflec­tive writ­ing and draws read­ers into her water­shed and her mem­o­ries. Bethea’s pas­sion for the nat­ur­al world — and for defend­ing it with a strong, informed voice ani­mates this instruc­tive mem­oir. Lis­ten to Sal­ly talk about the book here and here.

March Feature

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured March 2024 Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read is Divine Rivals by Rebec­ca Ross. When two young rival jour­nal­ists find love through a mag­i­cal con­nec­tion, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate for­ev­er. This is an epic Young Adult ene­mies-to-lovers fan­ta­sy nov­el filled with hope and heart­break, and the unpar­al­leled pow­er of love. Check out the book trail­er here (which also adver­tis­es the sequel, which came out at the end of last year). Check out Rebec­ca talk­ing about the book here and here.

Feb­ru­ary 2024 Fea­tured Books

February Adult

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured Feb­ru­ary 2024 Book All Geor­gians Should Read is the nov­el A Right Wor­thy Woman by Ruth P. Wat­son. A Right Wor­thy Woman is based on the inspir­ing true sto­ry of Virginia’s Black Wall Street and the indomitable Mag­gie Lena Walk­er, the daugh­ter of a for­mer­ly enslaved woman who became the first Black woman to estab­lish and pre­side over a bank in the Unit­ed States. Watch Ruth P. Wat­son dis­cuss her book at the Atlanta His­to­ry Cen­ter here and at the Auburn Avenue Research Library here.

February Kids

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

The fea­tured Feb­ru­ary 2024 Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read is Nic Blake and the Remark­ables by Ang­ie Thomas. The inter­na­tion­al­ly best­selling author makes her mid­dle grade debut with the launch of this inven­tive, hilar­i­ous, and sus­pense­ful new con­tem­po­rary fan­ta­sy tril­o­gy inspired by African Amer­i­can his­to­ry and folk­lore. All Nic Blake wants is to be a pow­er­ful Man­i­festor like her dad. But before she has a chance to con­vince him to teach her the gift, a series of shock­ing rev­e­la­tions and ter­ri­fy­ing events launch Nic and two friends on a hunt for a pow­er­ful mag­ic tool she’s nev­er heard of … to save her father from impris­on­ment for a crime she refus­es to believe he com­mit­ted. Lis­ten to Ang­ie Thomas talk about Nic Blake and the Remark­ables on CBS Morn­ings here and on Barnes and Noble’s Poured Over here.

Novem­ber 2023 Fea­tured Books

November Feature

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for Novem­ber is Wing­walk­ers by Tay­lor Brown. A for­mer WWI ace pilot and his wing­walk­er wife barn­storm across Depres­sion-era Amer­i­ca, per­form­ing acts of aer­i­al dar­ing. Wing­walk­ers is one-part epic adven­ture, one-part love sto­ry, and, as is the sig­na­ture for crit­i­cal­ly-acclaimed author Tay­lor Brown, one large part Amer­i­can his­to­ry. The nov­el braids the adven­tures of Del­la and Zeno Marigold, a vagabond cou­ple that funds their jour­ney to the west coast in the mid­dle of the Great Depres­sion by per­form­ing death-defy­ing aer­i­al stunts from town to town, togeth­er with the life of the author (and thwart­ed fight­er pilot) William Faulkn­er, whom the cou­ple ulti­mate­ly inspires dur­ing a dra­mat­ic air show — with unex­pect­ed con­se­quences for all. Lis­ten to an inter­view with Tay­lor here and here.

November YG Feature

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured Novem­ber book for Young Geor­gians is Eden’s Ever­dark by Karen Strong. Hailed by New­bery win­ner Kel­ly Barn­hill as stun­ning, mov­ing, and mar­velous­ly strange,” this tale of a young girl who stum­bles into a mag­i­cal realm ruled by a wicked witch is a haunt­ing and ulti­mate­ly uplift­ing mid­dle grade nov­el about grief, fam­i­ly, and decades-old mag­ic. Join along with Karen as she reads from the book here. Read an inter­view with her here.

Octo­ber 2023 Fea­tured Books

October (Correct)

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for Octo­ber is The Resem­blance by Lau­ren Nos­sett. An art­ful­ly writ­ten debut, The Resem­blance is an exhil­a­rat­ing, atmos­pher­ic cam­pus thriller rem­i­nis­cent of If We Were Vil­lains and The Like­ness. On a chilly Novem­ber morn­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia, a fra­ter­ni­ty broth­er steps off a busy cross­walk and is struck dead by an oncom­ing car. More than a dozen wit­ness­es all agree on two things: the dri­ver looked iden­ti­cal to the vic­tim, and he was smil­ing. Detec­tive Mar­litt Kaplan is first on the scene. An Athens native and the daugh­ter of a UGA pro­fes­sor, she knows all its shame­ful his­to­ries. The lines between Marlitt’s police work and her own past increas­ing­ly blur as Mar­litt seeks to bring to jus­tice an insti­tu­tion that took some­thing pre­cious from her many years ago. The next in the series comes out Novem­ber 2024, fol­low­ing the sto­ry of Mar­litt Kaplan fur­ther. Lis­ten to Lau­ren talk about The Resem­blance here, and read an inter­view with her here.

October YG Correct

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured Octo­ber book for Young Geor­gians is the graph­ic mem­oir Vic­to­ry. Stand!: Rais­ing My Fist for Jus­tice by Tom­mie Smith, Der­rick Barnes, and Dawud Anyab­wile. On Octo­ber 16, 1968, dur­ing the medal cer­e­mo­ny at the Mex­i­co City Olympics, Tom­mie Smith, the gold medal win­ner in the 200-meter sprint, and John Car­los, the bronze medal win­ner, stood on the podi­um in black socks and raised their black-gloved fists to protest racial injus­tice inflict­ed upon African Amer­i­cans. Both men were forced to leave the Olympics, received death threats, and faced ostracism and con­tin­u­ing eco­nom­ic hard­ships. In his first-ever mem­oir for young read­ers, Tom­mie Smith looks back on his child­hood grow­ing up in rur­al Texas through to his stel­lar ath­let­ic career, cul­mi­nat­ing in his his­toric vic­to­ry and Olympic podi­um protest. Cowrit­ten with New­bery Hon­or and Coret­ta Scott King Author Hon­or recip­i­ent Der­rick Barnes and illus­trat­ed with bold and mus­cu­lar art­work from Emmy Award – win­ning illus­tra­tor Dawud Anyab­wile, Vic­to­ry. Stand! paints a stir­ring por­trait of an icon­ic moment in Olympic his­to­ry that still res­onates today. Lis­ten to Tom­mie talk about his book here and here.

Sep­tem­ber 2023 Fea­tured Books

September Feature

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for Sep­tem­ber is My Boy Will Die of Sor­row: A Mem­oir of Immi­gra­tion From the Front Lines by Efrén C. Oli­vares. This deeply per­son­al per­spec­tive from a human rights lawyer — whose work on the front lines of the fight against fam­i­ly sep­a­ra­tions in South Texas inter­twines with his own sto­ry of immi­grat­ing to the Unit­ed States at thir­teen — reframes the Unit­ed States’ his­to­ry as a nation of immi­grants but also a nation against immi­grants. Watch the author dis­cuss his book here and here.

September AYGR Feature

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured Sep­tem­ber book for Young Geor­gians is the YA nov­el Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas and Marie Mar­quardt. This is a time­ly sto­ry of two teenagers who dis­cov­er the pow­er of friend­ship, fem­i­nism, and stand­ing up for what you believe in, no mat­ter where you come from. A col­lab­o­ra­tion between two gift­ed authors writ­ing from alter­nat­ing per­spec­tives, this com­pelling nov­el shines with authen­tic­i­ty, courage, and humor. Watch the authors dis­cuss their books here.

August 2023 Fea­tured Books

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for August is The Float­ing Girls by Lo Patrick. Fierce 12-year-old Kay can’t ignore the prob­lems sur­fac­ing in her trou­bled home — or the mys­te­ri­ous marsh out­side. It will take all of her courage and per­se­ver­ance to sur­vive her fam­i­ly dra­ma as their dark secrets come to life in the wake of a small-town mur­der in Bled­soe, Geor­gia. At once wicked­ly fun­ny and heart­break­ing, per­fect for fans of Kim Michele Richard­son, The Float­ing Girls is a stun­ning south­ern mys­tery, a won­der­ful­ly atmos­pher­ic com­ing-of-age fam­i­ly dra­ma told from the per­spec­tive of a fierce 12-year-old marsh girl — rem­i­nis­cent of a mod­ern-day Scout Finch — as she unrav­els the secrets that threat­en her entire fam­i­ly. Watch Lo dis­cuss the book with Ash­ley Blooms for Hub City Writ­ers Project here.

Briarcliff Prep

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured August book for Young Geor­gians is the YA nov­el Bri­ar­cliff Prep by Bri­an­na Pep­pins. Set at a luxe, aspi­ra­tional board­ing school inspired by the author’s beloved alma mater Spel­man Col­lege, this debut is a cap­ti­vat­ing cel­e­bra­tion of the friends we choose, the fam­i­ly we pro­tect, and the love we owe our­selves. Debut author Bri­an­na Pep­pins deft­ly bal­ances a cel­e­bra­tion of sis­ter­hood, self-dis­cov­ery, and Black joy with an empa­thet­ic explo­ration of teen dat­ing vio­lence in this nov­el that is, at its heart, a love let­ter to Black girls. Fol­low Bri­an­na on Insta­gram to learn more about her events.

July 2023 Fea­tured Books

A Road Running Southward - July Featured AGR

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for July is A Road Run­ning South­ward: Fol­low­ing John Muir’s Jour­ney through an Endan­gered Land by Dan Chap­man. In 1867, John Muir set out on foot to explore the botan­i­cal won­ders of the South. One hun­dred and fifty years lat­er, on a sim­i­lar whim, vet­er­an Atlanta reporter Dan Chap­man recre­at­ed Muir’s jour­ney to see for him­self how nature has fared since Muir’s time. A Road Run­ning South­ward is part trav­el­ogue, part envi­ron­men­tal cri de coeur, and paints a pic­ture of a South under siege. It is a pas­sion­ate appeal, a call to action to save one of the loveli­est and most bio­di­verse regions of the world by under­stand­ing what we have to lose if we do noth­ing. Read an inter­view with Dan here.

July Featured AYGR

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured July book for Young Geor­gians is Future­land: Bat­tle for the Park by H.D. Hunter. When an extra­or­di­nary fly­ing theme park arrives above Atlanta, one boy must stop a sin­is­ter force from steal­ing the park’s tech and tak­ing over the world. An elec­tri­fy­ing illus­trat­ed series with the Afro­fu­tur­ism of Black Pan­ther that took the world by storm. Per­fect for fans of Spi­der-Man: Miles Morales. Lis­ten to the author read the first chap­ter here.

June 2023 Fea­tured Books

June Featured AGR

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for June is Don’t Cry For Me by Daniel Black. A Black father makes amends with his gay son through let­ters writ­ten on his deathbed in this wise and pen­e­trat­ing nov­el of empa­thy and for­give­ness. With pierc­ing insight and pro­found empa­thy, this acclaimed local author illu­mi­nates the lived expe­ri­ences of Black fathers and queer sons, offer­ing an authen­tic and ulti­mate­ly hope­ful por­trait of reck­on­ing and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. Spare as it is sweep­ing, poet­ic as it is com­pul­sive­ly read­able, Don’t Cry for Me is a mon­u­men­tal nov­el about one fam­i­ly grap­pling with love’s hard edges and the unex­pect­ed places where hope and heal­ing take flight. Watch our event fea­tur­ing Daniel in con­ver­sa­tion with Julian Win­ters here.

June Featured AYGR

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured June book for Young Geor­gians is We Deserve Mon­u­ments by Jas Ham­monds. Fam­i­ly secrets, a swoon-wor­thy romance, and a slow-burn mys­tery col­lide in this YA debut that explores how racial vio­lence can rip­ple down through gen­er­a­tions in a fic­tion­al Geor­gia town. Watch an event with Jas in con­ver­sa­tion with Ebony LaDelle here.

May 2023 Fea­tured Books

Flipped

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for May is Flipped: How Geor­gia Turned Pur­ple and Broke the Monop­oly on Repub­li­can Pow­er by Atlanta-Jour­nal Con­sti­tu­tion reporter Greg Bluestein. Flipped is the defin­i­tive account of how the elec­tion of Rev­erend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff trans­formed Geor­gia from one of the staunchest Repub­li­can strong­holds to the nation’s most watched bat­tle­ground state, a sto­ry that will res­onate through the rest of the decade and beyond. Watch Greg dis­cuss Flipped at the 2022 Decatur Book Fes­ti­val here.

Anisa

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured May book for Young Geor­gians is Anisa’s Inter­na­tion­al Day by Reem Faruqi. From the award-win­ning author of Unset­tled, meet Anisa, the adorable Pak­istani Amer­i­can hero­ine of this irre­sistible younger mid­dle grade nov­el about a girl who intro­duces her class to the art of mehn­di for Inter­na­tion­al Day. This book is filled with fun black-and-white inte­ri­or art, recipes, and activ­i­ties in the back! Read a Q & A with Reem about the book here.

April 2023 Fea­tured Books

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for April, which is Nation­al Poet­ry Month, is the col­lec­tion The Con­ver­sa­tion Turns to Wide-Mouth Jars by Cathy Carlisi, Beth Gylys, and Jen­nifer Whee­lock. Read their bios at the pre­vi­ous link. Of this book, A.E. Stallings said, This unique collection/​anthology uncan­ni­ly puts its fin­ger on the pulse of our pan­dem­ic con­cerns of lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion and our long­ing for com­mu­ni­ty and con­ver­sa­tion. Despite the dis­tinc­tive voic­es of the three women, these poems weave into a whole, or per­haps a bet­ter metaphor is a patch­work quilt, sewn by many hands, while col­ored threads of gos­sip and con­ver­sa­tion, obser­va­tion and con­fes­sion, tales of love and vio­lence, are pulled through with a sharp, squint­ing needle.”

Impossible Moon

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured April book from the Books All Young Geor­gians Should Read list is Impos­si­ble Moon by Bre­an­na J. McDaniel. A young girl under­takes an impos­si­ble trip to the moon, makes friends with the stars, and brings back some­thing price­less in this gen­tle and lyri­cal­ly told pic­ture book about fam­i­ly, his­to­ry, and mem­o­ry. Watch Bre­an­na read her beau­ti­ful sto­ry­book here.

March 2023 Fea­tured Books

Bigger Than Bravery

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured adult book for March is Big­ger Than Brav­ery: Black Resilience and Recla­ma­tion in a Time of Pan­dem­ic, edit­ed by Valerie Boyd. Read a review of the book in the AJC here. This anthol­o­gy shares the work of 31 Black writ­ers as they reflect on sur­viv­ing the tri­als of 2020. Ros­alind Bent­ley pre­sent­ed on her men­tor, Valerie Boyd, and dis­cussed Big­ger than Brav­ery at the 2023 Revival: Lost South­ern Voic­es fes­ti­val, and you may view the record­ing of that talk here.

Just Like Jesse Owens

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured March book from the Books All Young Geor­gians Should Read list is Just Like Jesse Owens, by Ambas­sador Andrew Young, as told to his daugh­ter, Paula Young Shel­ton. As a boy, Andrew Young learned a vital les­son from his par­ents when a local chap­ter of the Nazi par­ty insti­gat­ed racial unrest in their home­town of New Orleans in the 1930s. While Hitler’s teach­ings pro­mot­ed White suprema­cy, Andrew’s father, told him that when deal­ing with the sick­ness of racism, Don’t get mad, get smart.” To dri­ve home this idea, Andrew Young Senior took his fam­i­ly to the local movie house to see a news­reel of track star Jesse Owens rac­ing toward Olympic gold, show­ing the world that the best way to pro­mote equal­i­ty is to focus on the fin­ish line. The teach­ing of his par­ents, and Jesse Owens’ exam­ple, would be the guid­ing prin­ci­ples that shaped Andrew’s beliefs in non­vi­o­lence and built his foun­da­tion as a civ­il rights leader and advi­sor to Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. Hear from Paula and the illus­tra­tor here.

Feb­ru­ary 2023 Fea­tured Books

AGR Feb

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

My Peo­ple: Five Decades of Writ­ing About Black Lives is by Char­layne Hunter-Gault. At just eigh­teen years old, Char­layne Hunter-Gault made nation­al news when she mount­ed a suc­cess­ful legal chal­lenge that cul­mi­nat­ed in her admis­sion to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia in Jan­u­ary 1961 — mak­ing her one of the first two Black stu­dents to inte­grate the insti­tu­tion. As an adult, Char­layne switched from being the sub­ject of news to cov­er­ing it, becom­ing one of its most rec­og­nized and acclaimed inter­preters. From the leg­endary Emmy Award-win­ning jour­nal­ist, My Peo­ple is a col­lec­tion of ground-break­ing reportage from across five decades which vivid­ly chron­i­cles the expe­ri­ence of Black life in Amer­i­ca today. Read (or lis­ten) to an inter­view with Char­layne here. Watch an author event with her, in con­ver­sa­tion with Dorothy Roberts, here.

AYGR Feb

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Our fea­tured Feb­ru­ary book from the Books All Young Geor­gians Should Read list is Stacey’s Remark­able Books by Stacey Abrams. Feb­ru­ary is Nation­al Library Lovers Month, and this book is a pic­ture book all about lov­ing your library! This is a com­pan­ion to the #1 New York Times best­seller and NAACP Image Award win­ner Stacey’s Extra­or­di­nary Words, from Stacey Abrams and artist Kitt Thomas. Stacey’s Remark­able Books is an inspir­ing tale, based on a true sto­ry from Stacey Abrams’s child­hood, about the life-chang­ing pow­er of books. Enjoy this video of the book being read by Stacey Abrams, and hear her read and talk about the first book in the series, Sta­cy’s Extra­or­di­nary Words, here.

Novem­ber 2022 Fea­tured Books

Mother Mary

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

In Moth­er Mary Comes to Me: A Pop­cul­ture Poet­ry Anthol­o­gy, edit­ed by Karen Head and Collin Kel­ley, poets explore the inter­sec­tion of the sacred and the larg­er than life per­sona that Mary has become through­out the ages and how she still holds sway in 21st cen­tu­ry as a fig­ure to be praised, feared and mined for pathos and humor. View our two vir­tu­al read­ings with the poets fea­tured in this anthol­o­gy here and here.

Theo TheSaurus

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Theo The­Saurus: The Dinosaur Who Loved Big Words is a pic­ture book by Shel­li R. Johannes, illus­trat­ed by Mike Moran. When a big vocab­u­lary leads to big con­fu­sion, Theo The­Saurus learns that there are some things you can say with­out any words at all! This sto­ry is Fan­cy Nan­cy for dinosaur lovers. View an event with Shel­li here.

Octo­ber 2022 Fea­tured Books

October Book All Georgians Should Read

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Mon­ster in the Mid­dle by Tiphanie Yanique, the award-win­ning author of Land of Love and Drown­ing, is an elec­tric new nov­el that maps the emo­tion­al inher­i­tance of one cou­ple new­ly in love. View Tiphanie’s pan­el from the 2021 Decatur Book Fes­ti­val here. Tiphanie was also a pan­elist at the 2022 Decatur Book Fes­ti­val, and you may watch that here. You may view a vir­tu­al event with her here, and read an inter­view with her here.

October Book All Young Georgians Should Read

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray is the first in her block­buster YA fan­ta­sy series, per­fect for fans of Firekeeper’s Daugh­ter and Iron Wid­ow. In it, fate binds two Black teenagers togeth­er as they jour­ney into a mag­i­cal jun­gle to hunt down a vicious mon­ster. View a vir­tu­al event with Ayana here. Read inter­views with her here and here. Geor­gia shares Ayana Gray with the great state of Arkansas where she now lives and teach­es. Beasts of Prey was the Arkansas Young Read­ers’ Selec­tion for Great Reads from Great Places” at the Nation­al Book Fes­ti­val. Vis­it the Arkansas Cen­ter for the Book web­site for more infor­ma­tion and to watch their Nation­al Book Fes­ti­val video.

Sep­tem­ber 2022 Fea­tured Books

September Featured Book - AGR

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Hon­orée Fanonne Jef­fers is an award-win­ning nov­el that tells the sto­ry of Ailey Pearl Garfield, as she embarks on a jour­ney through her family’s past, uncov­er­ing the shock­ing tales of gen­er­a­tions of ances­tors — Indige­nous, Black, and white — in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full her­itage, a lega­cy of oppres­sion and resis­tance, bondage and inde­pen­dence, cru­el­ty and resilience that is the sto­ry — and the song — of Amer­i­ca itself. Watch Hon­orée in con­ver­sa­tion with Tra­cy K. Smith here. Read an inter­view with her here.

September Featured AYGR

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

There’s No Ham in Ham­burg­ers by Kim Zach­man is an enter­tain­ing and edu­ca­tion­al mid­dle-grade read. From hot dogs and ham­burg­ers to ice cream and piz­za, this fas­ci­nat­ing book is full of fun facts and sto­ries of the ori­gins of some of Amer­i­ca’s most pop­u­lar foods. Watch Kim’s video she did for a part­ner­ship between the Geor­gia Cen­ter for the Book and SCB­WI — South­ern Breeze (the Soci­ety of Chil­dren’s Book Writ­ers and Illus­tra­tors) here. Watch an event with her here.

August 2022 Fea­tured Books

August AGR Featured Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

The Part­ed Earth by Anjali Enjeti spans more than half a cen­tu­ry and cities from New Del­hi to Atlanta. Enjeti’s debut nov­el is a heart­felt and human por­trait of the long shad­ow of the Par­ti­tion of the Indi­an sub­con­ti­nent on the lives of three gen­er­a­tions. For read­ers of Jess Walter’s Beau­ti­ful Ruins, The Part­ed Earth fol­lows Shan on her search for iden­ti­ty after loss uproots her life. Above all, it is a nov­el about fam­i­lies weath­er­ing the last­ing vio­lence of sep­a­ra­tion, and how it can often take a life­time to find uni­ty and peace. Watch her event with the Geor­gia Cen­ter for the Book here. Read inter­views with Anjali here and here.

August AYGR Featured Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Name Tags and Oth­er Sixth-Grade Dis­as­ters by Gin­ger Gar­rett is a mid­dle-grade nov­el about twelve-year old Liz­beth. When she has to start sixth grade all over again at a new school because of her par­ents’ divorce, she gets stuck sit­ting with the Weirdos. She’s also forced to wear a name tag until every­one learns her name — or makes up a new one for her. Mean­while, all her plans to reunite her par­ents go awry as she acci­den­tal­ly saves the school arts pro­gram and stands up for out­siders every­where. Find a brief dis­cus­sion guide from Lern­er here.

July 2022 Fea­tured Books

July Featured AGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Chas­ing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Mem­oir of the Jim Crow South writ­ten by Win­fred Rem­bert, as told to Erin I. Kel­ly, won the Pulitzer Prize for Biog­ra­phy in 2022. Vivid, con­fronta­tion­al, rev­e­la­to­ry, and com­plex, Chas­ing Me to My Grave is a sear­ing mem­oir in prose and paint­ed leather that cel­e­brates Black life and sum­mons read­ers to con­front painful and urgent real­i­ties at the heart of Amer­i­can his­to­ry and soci­ety. Chas­ing Me to My Grave presents Rem­bert’s breath­tak­ing body of work along­side his sto­ry, as told to Tufts Philoso­pher Erin I. Kel­ly. Watch our event with Win­fred’s wid­ow, Pat­sy Rem­bert, and Erin I. Kel­ly here.

July Featured AYGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Run: Book One is a graph­ic nov­el writ­ten by Con­gress­man John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illus­trat­ed by L. Fury and Nate Pow­ell. Watch the book trail­er here. Run is the sequel to the #1 New York Times best­selling graph­ic nov­el series March—the con­tin­u­a­tion of the life sto­ry of John Lewis and the strug­gles seen across the Unit­ed States after the Sel­ma vot­ing rights cam­paign. In Run: Book One, John Lewis and long­time col­lab­o­ra­tor Andrew Aydin reteam with Nate Pow­ell — the award – win­ning illus­tra­tor of the March tril­o­gy — and are joined by L. Fury — mak­ing an aston­ish­ing graph­ic nov­el debut — to tell this often over­looked chap­ter of civ­il rights history.

June 2022 Fea­tured Books

June 2022 Featured Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

A Night at the Sweet Gum Head: Drag, Drugs, Dis­co, and Atlanta’s Gay Rev­o­lu­tion by Mar­tin Pad­gett is a non­fic­tion book that tells an elec­tric and inti­mate sto­ry of 1970s gay Atlanta through its bedaz­zling drag clubs and bur­geon­ing rights activism. Watch to Mar­tin dis­cuss the book at last year’s Decatur Book Fes­ti­val here. Read a Q & A with the author from Atlanta Mag­a­zine here.

June 2022 Featured AGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Needle & Thread by David Pinck­ney is a YA graph­ic nov­el and com­ing-of-age yarn about self-dis­cov­ery, resilience, and the endur­ing pow­er of hav­ing a per­son believe in you! View the trail­er for the book to learn more here. Learn more about the artist of the book, Ennun Ana Iurov, here.

May 2022 Fea­tured Books

Featured May 2022 AGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Chron­i­cling Stanko­nia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South by Regi­na N. Bradley is a vibrant non­fic­tion book that reflects the ways that cul­ture, race, and south­ern­ness inter­sect in the late twen­ti­eth and ear­ly twen­ty-first cen­turies. Although part of south­ern hip-hop cul­ture remains attached to the past, Bradley demon­strates how younger south­ern­ers use the music to embrace the pos­si­bil­i­ty of mul­ti­ple Souths, mul­ti­ple nar­ra­tives, and mul­ti­ple points of entry to con­tem­po­rary south­ern black iden­ti­ty. Learn more about it here. Hear Dr. Bradley on a pan­el for us dis­cussing Rob Ken­ner’s The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hus­sle here. Lis­ten to her dis­cuss Chron­i­cling Stanko­nia with Kiese Lay­mon here.

May 2022 Featured AGYR Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Fast Pitch is a mid­dle-grade nov­el from #1 New York Times best­selling author Nic Stone. It is a chal­leng­ing and heart­warm­ing com­ing-of-age sto­ry about a soft­ball play­er look­ing to prove her­self on and off the field. Read an inter­view with Nic about the book here, and lis­ten to Nic talk about the book here.

April 2022 Fea­tured Books

May 2022 Featured AGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Peach State: Poems by Adri­enne Su is a col­lec­tion of poet­ry that has its ori­gins in Atlanta, Geor­gia, the author’s home­town and an emblem­at­ic city of the New South, a name that reflects the Amer­i­can region’s invig­o­ra­tion in recent decades by immi­gra­tion and a spir­it of rein­ven­tion. Focused main­ly on food and cook­ing, these poems explore the city’s trans­for­ma­tion from the mid-twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry to today, as seen and shaped by Chi­nese Amer­i­cans. The poems are set in restau­rants, home kitchens, gro­cery stores, and the hous­es of friends and neigh­bors. Often employ­ing forms — son­net, vil­lanelle, ses­ti­na, palin­drome, ghaz­al, rhymed stan­zas — they also mir­ror the con­stant nego­ti­a­tion with tra­di­tion that marks both immi­grant and South­ern expe­ri­ence. Read an inter­view with Adri­enne to learn more. We chose Adri­en­ne’s col­lec­tion as our 2021 Route 1 Reads pick, which is a pro­gram with oth­er Cen­ters for the Book. As part of this, she par­tic­i­pat­ed in a col­lec­tive vir­tu­al read­ing with oth­er select­ed poets, and you can watch that here. Adri­enne is towards the end, but we encour­age you to watch the whole read­ing. She also par­tic­i­pat­ed in a read­ing for Geor­gia Poet­ry in the Parks, which you may watch here.

May 2022 Featured AYGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

We Are All Under One Wide Sky is a pic­ture book by Deb­o­rah Wiles. Chil­dren gig­gle, whirligigs spin round, and song­birds sail the air in this beau­ti­ful, lyri­cal pic­ture book. We Are All Under One Wide Sky weaves togeth­er images of chil­dren, nature, and archi­tec­ture from around the world, both cel­e­brat­ing our diver­si­ty and show­ing how we are the same in so many ways. Whether tend­ing sheep in Afghanistan, water­ing tulips in the Nether­lands, or fly­ing kites in the Unit­ed States, chil­dren enjoy one anoth­er and the spa­cious world around them. They share pic­nics and play music, play games and climb trees. A peace anthem with a time­ly and impor­tant mes­sage, We Are All Under One Wide Sky shows us that what we have in com­mon is what is most important­: fam­i­ly, laugh­ter, love, nature, and friend­ship. We all share the same wide sky. Check out a video read­ing of the book here. Read an inter­view with Deb­o­rah here.

March 2022 Fea­tured Books

March Featured AGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Wild Spec­ta­cle: Seek­ing Won­ders in a World Beyond Humans by Janisse Ray, which is a mem­oir of one wom­an’s inten­tion­al explo­ration of the wild world. Read more about it here. We wel­comed Janisse last fall as part of the Con­ver­sa­tions at First Bap­tist series, and you may watch a record­ing of that event here. Check out Janisse talk­ing about her mem­oir here, and read oth­er essays by her here.

March 2022 Featured AYGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

The Strange Birds of Flan­nery O’Con­nor is a pic­ture book biog­ra­phy of the famous Geor­gia author by Amy Alz­nauer, with love­ly illus­tra­tions by Ping Zhu. Flan­nery was born March 25, 1925, so we cel­e­brat­ed this book in March for her birth­day! Learn more about the book here. Watch Amy and Ping dis­cuss their love­ly pic­ture book here, and read more about the book here.

Feb­ru­ary 2022 Fea­tured Books

February Featured AGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Geor­gians Should Read

Memo­r­i­al Dri­ve: A Daugh­ter’s Mem­oir is a chill­ing­ly per­son­al and exquis­ite­ly wrought mem­oir of a daugh­ter reck­on­ing with the bru­tal mur­der of her moth­er at the hands of her for­mer step­fa­ther, and the mov­ing, inti­mate sto­ry of a poet com­ing into her own in the wake of a tragedy. Learn more in this arti­cle from the New York Times, and read an inter­view with Natasha about the book in the South­ern Review of Books here, and vis­it Natasha’s web­site to read more about her and her oth­er work.

February Featured AYGR Book

Fea­tured Book All Young Geor­gians Should Read

Why We Fly by Kim­ber­ly Jones and Gilly Segal is a sto­ry about friend­ship, priv­i­lege, sports, and protest from the best­selling authors of I’m Not Dying With You Tonight. Read about the authors’ inspi­ra­tion for writ­ing Why We Fly here, and lis­ten to an inter­view with the authors by Lois Reitzes here.

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