Social Sciences Titles
Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press, 2020.
Today's calls for reform in criminal justice and policing were born in part out of Alexander's bestseller which methodically relays how the carceral state was created.The updated edition also shares the state of the reform movement.
Blumenthal, Karen. Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights. Roaring Brook Press, 2020.
Blumenthal covers the history of reproductive practices and rights ( or, lack thereof) of women through the court battle of Roe v. Wade.
Brown, Don. The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018.
Shedding light on the horrific dangers refugees must go through to escape warzones, Don Brown depicts the realities of the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
Caletti, Deb. A Heart in a Body in the World. Simon Pulse, 2018.
Annabelle is running across the country to escape a trauma, with her grandfather as her chaperone in a rickety RV. As Annabelle keeps running, she finds the power to be honest with herself about what happened and to use her voice to reach others.
Cantu, Francisco. The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border. Riverhead Books, 2018.
The author's mother told him, "We learn violence by watching others, by seeing it enshrined in institutions. Then, even without our choosing it, it begins to seem normal to us, it even becomes part of who we are." This book is his struggle with this truth as he works for the U.S. Border Patrol and eventually comes to see the border and the people there as more than depersonalized policy.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. One World, 2015.
Taking the form of a letter to his teenage son, Coates strives to help his son (and himself) come to grips with what it means to be Black in America today.
Cooper, Brittney. Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower. St. Martin’s Press, 2018.
Anger is an emotion that is not acceptable when displayed by women, especially Black women. Part memoir and part feminist text, Cooper reminds women that rage can be eloquent and can keep society accountable for their attitudes and actions against women, specifically Black women.
Davis, Angela. Women, Race & Class. Random House, 1983.
A classic and essential reading, Davis' history of the women’s liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the twentieth century from the lenses of race, gender, and class.
Deaver, Mason. I Wish You All the Best. Push, 2019.
In this novel a nonbinary teen, Ben, who comes out to their parents, is kicked out of their home and must move in with their estranged older sister. With only a few months left of their senior year, Ben grapples with coming out at their new school, friendships that may turn into something more, and redefining their conceptions of their family.
Ferrera, America. American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures. Gallery Books, 2019.
Thirty-one of Ferrera's friends, peers, and heroes share their narratives about their lives between cultures. Intimate glimpses of contributors' private lives, rife with admiration for immigrant parents and pride in cultural backgrounds, pair with the frustration and anguish that come with feeling like an outsider in their own country.
Jones, Kimberly and Segal, Gilly. I’m Not Dying with You Tonight. Sourcebooks Fire, 2019.
Follow Lena and Campbell in their action-packed night as they race for their homes when a fight that breaks out after a high school football game erupts into something much bigger.
Kendall, Mikki. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot. Viking, 2020.
In this collection of essays, Mikki Kendall addresses global issues one at a time and dives into what makes them feminist, countering the narrow focuses of white feminism to include the needs of all women.
Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Antiracist. One World, 2019.
Looking at ethics, law, policy, history, and science, Dr. Kendi explores what it truly means to be anti-racist and fight for racial justice for Black America.
Kobabe, Maia. Gender Queer: A Memoir. Oni Press, 2019.
An exploration of gender identity and sexuality, Maia Kobabe tells their personal story of discovering that sometimes you might not fit into a predefined box.
Krakauer, Jon. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System. Doubleday, 2015.
Investigative journalist Jon Krakauer deep dives into the sexual assault epidemic in one college town, documenting cases from incident to indictment (or lack thereof) and giving voice to the victims of the crimes.
Macy, Beth. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America. Little Brown and Company, 2018.
Constructs the through line from the mid-nineties introduction of the prescription painkiller OxyContin to the current U.S. opioid crisis. Although the realities are devastating, the doctors, the bereaved, and the advocates that the author introduces offer hope.
Margolin, Jamie. Youth Power: Your Voice and How to Use It. Hachette Go, 2020.
Teen activist Jamie Margolin presents an informative guide for getting involved in social activism.
Miller, Chanel. Know My Name: A Memoir. Viking, 2019.
Miller was known only as Emily Doe when the letter she read during the sentencing of the man who sexually assaulted her went viral. With this memoir, she reclaims her name and describes the trauma she experienced, the injustices she and other victims face in the criminal justice system, and the ways she found healing.
Saslow, Eli. Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist. Doubleday, 2018.
Derek Black was a leading white supremacist....until he went to college. There, he went through a slow awakening that what he had been brought up to believe was wrong. This thoughtfully written profile of a human with a problematic past also touches on freedom of speech issues.
Slater, Dashka. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
What seems at first to be a straightforward case of an anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime turns out to be far more complex in this true accounting of two teens, one white and one Black, from radically different worlds in the city of Oakland, and the reckless act that brought their stories to national attention.
Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Spiegel & Grau, 2014.
Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, documents his work as an attorney fighting on behalf of prisoners on death row and the wrongly convicted, and explores how the United States' legacy of racial injustice led to the current inequities in the criminal justice system.
Tagame, Gengorah. My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 1-2. Pantheon, 2017, 2018.
In this two volume set of manga, Yaichi graples with the fact that his homophobia allowed him to lose contact with his gay twin brother, who has passed away, when his brother’s white, Canadian husband comes to Japan to meet the family. Honest and realistic, Yaichi strives to understand and be better for himself, his deceased brother, and his daughter.
Tolentino, Jia. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion. Random House, 2019.
Over the course of nine witty and sharp essays, Tolentino analyzes the different ways in which modern culture can create a warped version of the self, covering topics from body image to the "scam economy" to the evolving and increasingly social internet, and more.
Varufakis, Yanis. Talking to My Daughter About the Economy. Farrar, Strau and Giroux, 2018.
The author's purpose is "ensuring that everyone is allowed to talk authoritatively about the economy [which] is a prerequisite for a good society and a precondition for an authentic democracy." Mission accomplished with this short, sharp analysis that dispenses with jargon and weaves literature into its explanations.
Watkins, D. We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America. Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2019.
This Baltimore based essayist explores poverty, class, race and crime while always "speaking for himself." Watkins uses a combination of direct language, opinion and humor to give an honest voice to his culture.
Zoboi, Ibi. American Street. Balzer & Bray, 2017.
A well-executed look into how the American dream can be a nightmare for some immigrants. Evocative prose delineates struggle for survival, the uncovering of one's bravest self, and the coming together of a family.