Book Review: On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope by DeRay McKesson

9780525560326“On the Other Side of Freedom reveals the mind and motivations of a young man who has risen to the fore of millennial activism through study, discipline, and conviction. His belief in a world that can be made better, one act at a time, powers his narratives and opens up a view on the costs, consequences, and rewards of leading a movement.”–Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

From the internationally recognized civil rights activist/organizer and host of the podcast Pod Save the People, a meditation on resistance, justice, and freedom, and an intimate portrait of a movement from the front lines.

In August of 2014, twenty-nine-year-old activist DeRay Mckesson stood with hundreds of others on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, to push a message of justice and accountability. These protests, and others like them in cities across the country, resulted in the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, in his first book, Mckesson lays out the intellectual, pragmatic political framework for a new liberation movement. Continuing a conversation about activism, resistance, and justice that embraces our nation’s complex history, he dissects how deliberate oppression persists, how racial injustice strips our lives of promise, and how technology has added a new dimension to mass action and social change. He argues that our best efforts to combat injustice have been stunted by the belief that racism’s wounds are history, and suggests that intellectual purity has curtailed optimistic realism. The book offers a new framework and language for understanding the nature of oppression. With it, we can begin charting a course to dismantle the obvious and subtle structures that limit freedom.

Honest, courageous, and imaginative, On the Other Side of Freedom is a work brimming with hope. Drawing from his own experiences as an activist, organizer, educator, and public official, Mckesson exhorts all Americans to work to dismantle the legacy of racism and to imagine the best of what is possible. Honoring the voices of a new generation of activists, On the Other Side of Freedom is a visionary’s call to take responsibility for imagining, and then building, the world we want to live in, (Goodreads).

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I Want To Host A Read-A-Long!

Hi friends!

I am thinking about hosting a Read-A-Thon/Read-A-Long during the winter break (dates TBD).  This is kind of a trial run for the book club I want to start over the summer. (For those of you who don’t know, I want to start a book club over the summer for teachers and educators to read books and have discussions on how they would incorporate certain texts in the classroom!)

For the Read-A-Long this winter  everyone is welcome to participate!

I have already picked the book I want to use for this… It is a relatively popular YA Contemporary and it is a quick read.  So for those who are a little apprehensive about participating because of timing issues, do not worry, the book is short!

The reason why I want to read a YA Contemprary for this Read-A-Long is because I still want to use books that I could potentially teach at the secondary level (middle school/high school).  However, despite your age, if you are interested, you are welcome!

If you are interested in participating or have any questions the best way to contact me is through my Instagram! Shoot me a DM and I will tell you what book I want to read, and add you to the group chat, or you can leave your best form of contact in the comments below and I will reach out to you!

I’m excited for this! Talk to you guys soon!

❤ Brittany

Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

34810320Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late, (Goodreads).

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Rant: I want to read about more Black joy!

When I set my goal to read one book a month in January, I was making it a point to seek out books written by Black women or about Black people.  I kept true to that criteria for a good portion of the year which I am very proud of, but for a while in the summer I was very turned off by reading books centered around the Black experience… I was disappointed, because I felt like I was betraying my favorite part about myself, and my identity.

Source: For Harriet

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Play Script Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Parts One and Two by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling

51NRPISnBuL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places, (Goodreads).

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Book Review: Scythe by Neil Shusterman

scythe-9781442472433_hrThou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own, (Goodreads).

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Book Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

98976c1466fded97034c2fd3f4c1a298 (1)Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic, (Goodreads).


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Blog Update!

Hey, gang! *taps mic* Is this thing on?

I just wanted to swing by and give an update on what’s been going on with me personally.  I recently got a new job, and it has been such a great new experience! For those of you that know me personally, my previous job that was really taxing and I was being treated really unfairly.  These working conditions took a toll on my anxiety and started to affect me physically. Now, I am in a much better situation and finally teaching English! Yay!

I have been blogging for a little over 5 months now (wow!) and it is my favorite thing to do. I am so thankful for the community that I have been introduced to and what I’ve wanted for so long was to just talk to a bunch of great people about the cool books I read, and with this blog I have that and I am so grateful!

Most people don’t know this, but I do write my blog posts way in advance. I post about twice a week (a book review and a blog post), and I normally have about 10+ posts in my Scheduled Posts tab — so pretty much everything I post was written a month prior. I kept a steady writing schedule so there was never a gap in my posts, or any indication showing that I was writing so far in advance.

With that being said, now that I have a new job, my responsibilities have pretty much quadrupled, and my commute also takes a lot of my time. I have about 4 posts in my Scheduled Posts tab, because I have not been writing as much anymore. I love blogging but I think in order to keep a balance with work and reading, I am going to only post once a week now.  I think that will help me feel less pressured to get content out at a certain time.

This is not a hiatus, but just a notice that I will have a little less content out for now. Once things get a little less hectic in my personal life, I will be back to writing as much as possible!

I’m thinking about posting on either Mondays or Thursdays (I kind of want to bypass all the Top Ten Tuesday/Top 5 Wednesday Tags) but let me know in the comments when would be the best time to see posts from me!

In the meantime, you can also add me as a friend on Goodreads or follow me on Instagram! I will definitely be a little more active on those platforms!

You guys are the best of the best! Thank you for all the support! I have a post coming later this week and then I’ll start the once a week schedule! See ya then!

❤ Brittany

Book Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

9780765392039Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices, (Goodreads).

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