Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

A truly enlightening book that puts you in the shoes of Anthony Ray Hinton, a man wrongfully accused and convicted of two murders.  The injustices he faced as a poor, black man in the court system of the State of Alabama is enough to make one’s blood boil.  And yet, Mr. Hinton explains how, in his 30 years on death row, he was able to overcome his anger with hope, compassion, forgiveness and faith.  When his case is finally taken on by award-winning lawyer, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, the path to justice is still a struggle, showing how deeply flawed our justice system is and calling into question the death penalty itself.  The resilience of Mr. Hinton’s spirit in these most desperate of circumstances is most amazing and humbling.  The final track of the audiobook is an afterward spoken by the author himself.  Listening to his voice after hearing his story is very meaningful.  He explains how he has gone on to become a strong voice for those without a  voice in our society as he shares his story with the world. ~Claire Michelle, HH

The New Kid by Jerry Craft

This new graphic novel for middle grades examines the unique challenges that face black and brown students during the transition to middle school. Jordan is the new kid at the fancy private school his parents want him to attend. Not only is he an outsider because all the other kids are rich and/or have known each other for years, but he is also one of only a handful of black/brown students in the entire school. Jordan uses art and humor to help him manage both the unique and universal struggles of being the New Kid in middle school. ~Danielle, CCL

How To Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery

While some might describe this book as “heartwarming”, that is far too simplistic, despite its warm tone and whimsical appearance.  Writing with a tremendous depth of feeling, Sy Montgomery explores her relationships with other species, from terriers to tarantulas, and why they matter.  How can we be so different, and yet so much the same? What might we learn, about life, loss, grief, gratitude, compassion, and acceptance from our fellow creatures? How short-sighted we are, to ponder whether we are “alone in this vast universe”, when we have always been surrounded by “intelligent alien life”, be it two-legged, four-legged, or even eight-legged.  Most of us have just been slow to understand. Happily, Sy Montgomery is willing to share her insights in this thoroughly enchanting book. ~Anita, HH

Factfulness by Hans Rosling

A truly inspiring book!  As it gives you a good look at the cold hard facts, you soon come to understand that the true state of the world is not nearly as bad as you would think, and is indeed improving in many ways thanks to the overall expansion of human consciousness. You will want read this again and again to help balance out all of the bad news we are bombarded with every day. Indeed, the book shows that without a clear understanding of the state of the world, we are apt to make poor choices that can decrease the joy we can get out of life and the good we can each do for the world in our own individual spheres. Facts matter! ~Claire Michelle, HH

Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline has woven Philadelphia culture into this novel detailing a court case that Bennie Rosato finds both difficult and personal.  Thirteen years ago Bennie was not able to help a middle school boy fight the juvenile justice system.  Now, the young man is charged with murder. He’s not telling her the truth, and she has to try the case by the seat of her pants!!  This one ends in a twist. ~Beverly, HH