| By Gale Staff |
While we too are fans of love stories, especially in February, there are other roads and reads to exploring matters of the heart. This month’s selections tell stories of tragedy, race and class, and survival against all odds. These probing tales will prompt readers to consider the nuances of compassion, tolerance, and love in new and meaningful ways.
Dear Edward, by Ann Napolitano
In a quick-speed moment, his world was forever and tragically altered. The plane carrying twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his parents, brother, and 183 other passengers crashed, leaving Edward as the sole survivor. As he struggles to find a place for himself in his new “world” and live versus merely survive, the story moves back and forth – before and after the crash – exploring the lives of his fellow passengers.
“Napolitano’s depiction of the nuances of post-trauma experiences is fearless, compassionate, and insightful.”
– Publishers Weekly
– Booklist (starred review)
A Good Neighborhood, by Therese Ann Fowler
Bestselling author Jodi Picoult says, “I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it’s that good.” Told from multiple points of view, the engaging story explores a tight-knit neighborhood’s drama that begins, as it often does, with a squabble over a tree. Then it deepens in dark ways when neighboring teens – a bright and talented biracial boy and a troubled girl explore tragic, star-crossed love.
“Traversing topics of love, race, and class, this emotionally complex novel speaks to―and may reverberate beyond―our troubled times.”
– Kirkus (starred review)
“This page-turner delivers a thoughtful exploration of prejudice, preconceived notions, and what it means to be innocent in the age of an opportunistic media.”
– Publishers Weekly
The Ungrateful Refugee, by Dina Nayeri
There has perhaps never been more study and scrutiny of refugees’ plight than now. In this book, Finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction, Nayeri weaves together her personal story as an eight-year-old fleeing Iran with stories of other refugees and asylum seekers. Readers are brought inside their daily lives and through the different stages of their journeys.
“Nayeri combines her own experience with those of refugees she meets as an adult, telling their stories with tenderness and reverence.”
– The New York Times Book Review
“This is a memoir laced with stimulus and plenty of heart at a time when the latter has grown elusive.”
– Minnesota Star Tribune