Book Chat

About the Books

For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World by Michael W. Waters

Winner of the 2020 Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice

“Dad, what happened?”
“Why are they shooting?”
“What is this vigil for?”

The shootings keep coming, and so do Jeremiah’s questions. Dad doesn’t have easy answers, but that doesn’t mean he won’t talk about it—or that he won’t act. But what if Jeremiah doesn’t want to talk anymore? None of it makes sense, and he’s just a kid. Even if he wants to believe in a better world, is there anything he can do about it?

Inspired by real-life events, this honest, intimate look at one family’s response to racism and gun violence includes a discussion guide created by the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, a multicultural center and museum committed to promoting respect, hope, and understanding.

Purchase a copy of For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World.

Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection by Anne Kim

Winner of the 2020 Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice⁠

For the majority of young adults today, the transition to independence is a time of excitement and possibility. But nearly five million young people—or a stunning 11.7 percent of youth aged sixteen to twenty-four—experience entry into adulthood as abrupt abandonment, a time of disconnection from school, work, and family. For this growing population of Americans, which includes kids aging out of foster care and those entangled with the justice system, life screeches to a halt when adulthood arrives. Abandoned is the first-ever exploration of this tale of dead ends and broken dreams.

Journalist Anne Kim skillfully weaves heart-rending stories of young people navigating early adulthood alone, in communities where poverty is endemic and opportunities almost nonexistent. She then describes a growing awareness—including new research from the field of adolescent brain science—that “emerging adulthood” is just as crucial a developmental period as early childhood, and she profiles an array of unheralded programs that provide young people with the supports they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

A major work of deeply reported narrative nonfiction, Abandoned joins the small shelf of books that change the way we see our society and point to a different path forward.

Purchase a copy of Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection.