The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham (Penguin Random House)
Lauren Markham delves into the complexities of immigration through the heart-wrenching and hopeful story of 17-year-old twins, Raúl and Ernesto Flores. In order to flee imminent danger in El Salvador, the Flores twins journey across the border in hopes of a better life. As they struggle to survive and belong in an environment that does not meet the shiny expectations of the “North” that they had imagined, Raúl and Ernesto must support each other and rely on advocates around them to navigate the obstacles of the U.S. legal system. In an honest and well-researched account, readers get a raw, firsthand perspective into the physical, emotional, financial, social, and cultural challenges that immigrants face. Markham uses insight and compassion to urgently address this current crisis of unaccompanied migrant children.
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern (Harper Collins)
15 year old Sunny, homeschooled and living with her hippie parents, gets arrested for stealing a dictionary of all things; little does she know that her community service sentence imposed by the judge will result in finding a new type of family. The little library in Riverton, NH becomes the heart of this small town and provides community and a sense of family for quite a few characters whose lives have crashed and burned: Kit, the librarian who has retreated into a lonely lifestyle to escape her ex-husband’s betrayal; Rusty, and ex-Wall Streeter whos car is his only remaining asset, and Sunny, in desperate need of a structured family life. The book features well-developed, warm characters who find a way to come to terms with their lives headed on new and meaningful paths.
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (Penquin Random House)
Written by a former CIA analyst, fans of the TV show The Americans will especially love this spy novel. An undercover Russian spy puts his wife, who is a CIA agent, in a morel dilemma when she discovers his secret identity. This is an engaging, fast-paced story that you don’t have to be a fan of spy novels to enjoy.
Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (William Morrow)
Three women of perseverance and resourcefulness living in a crumbling Bavarian castle at the end of World War II are haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.
Set amidst the deprivations, shortages, and hardships of a period frequently overlooked, this novel benefits from extensive historical research interwoven with fiercely determined characters.
Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warefare by Giles Milton (Macmillan)
I always find stories about the valor of allied troops during World War II enthralling. In this book, Milton includes unbelievable, unheard of narratives of the heroism of a select few men and women, hand-picked by Churchill, to ultimately impede Hitler’s advances through guerilla warfare. Those who enjoyed the recent films Dunkirk and Darkest Hour will be engrossed in the incredible and ingenious endeavors relayed in this book.
The Gulf The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis (Liveright Publishing)
With summer around the corner, many of us will spend time at the beach, even spending time on a beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Then a must read is environmental historian Jack Davis’s book! If you want to learn about the importance of the Gulf in our world today, Davis provides you with an exciting and impactful guide to this body of water.
Covering the history of the Gulf of Mexico from its creation till today, Davis takes you on a journey that is part history, part ecological tour; part encounters with colorful characters forged from their life on or around the Gulf.
Davis has written a readable study of the importance of a neglected sea, its remaining natural beauty, and asks us to consider what the future might be.