READING LIST 2018-19: GREEN SCHOLAR

WON'T KNOW TIL I GET THERE

By Walter Dean Myers


When Steve's parents decide to adopt a foster child, it seems like a good idea. And when Steve decides to show the new kid how tough he is by spray-painting the side of a subway car, that seems like a good idea too. But the foster child turns out to be a thirteen-year-old with a criminal record, and the guys in the designer jeans watching Steve spray-paint graffiti turn out to be transit police. Suddenly Steve and the whole gang are serving time, working in an old-age home with a bunch of feisty and independent senior citizens who refuse to sit still and be stereotyped - by anybody 

HANDBOOK FOR BOYS: A NOVEL

By Walter Dean Myers 


Jimmy and Kevin could really use a guide to life.


Their activities almost land them in juvenile detention until Duke employs them in his Harlem barbershop. Duke has rules for everything. But is he offering good advice or just more aggravation?


In the groundbreaking tradition of the award-winning Monster and Bad Boy: A Memoir, Walter Dean Myers fashions a complex, layered novel about the rules for success. Handbook for Boys is the book that he wishes he could have read while growing up. It is also the book young people need to read today. 

MALCOLM X: A GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY

By Andrew Helfer, Randy DuBurke

Assassinated at age 40 in 1965. Malcolm X battled Jim Crow America throughout his short life. Malcolm's passage from troubled boy to influential, outspoken man and finally to tragic hero is captured in the drawings of the award-winning graphic artist Randy DuBurke, and the heartrending history of the era is distilled to its essence by Andrew Helfer, editor of two Eisner Award-winning books. This is American history as you've never seen it before. 

THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT

By Jason Reynolds 


Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.


Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away. 

SONG OF SOLOMON

By Toni Morrison


Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world 

THE BEAST

By Walter Dean Myers


An exciting, eye-catching repackage of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers' bestselling paperbacks, to coincide with the publication of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJA in hardcover.


Seventen-year-old Anthony "Spoon" Witherspoon is returning to Harlem after seven months at an exclusive prep school. He never wanted to leave the city in the first place--especially not to walk the hallowed halls of a mostly white New England school. But now that Spoon is back home, he realizes how much he's come to rely on his prep-school friends and routine. And the one thing he's looking forward to most--seeing his girlfriend, Gabi--brings him the greatest shock. When he left, Gabi was a vibrant young poet. Now she's a thin, wasted drug addict. Can Spoon help her find her way again?  

AMERICAN HUNGER

By Richard Wright

The story begins when four-year-old Richard sets fire to his grandmother's house in Jackson, Mississippi, and, as punishment, is nearly beaten to death by his mother. He recovers, and the brutal punishment establishes in Richard an ability to survive any circumstance. The family then moves to Memphis, Tennessee, where Richard's father eventually deserts the family. 

BLACK GIRL LOST

By Donald Goines

Almost since the day she was born, Sandra had to fend for herself on the streets of Detroit. Crime and pain were her closest companions. Then someone she had no business believing in waltzed into her life—a man willing to watch her back and show her how to make easy money. But when Chink gets caught, Sandra commits the ultimate act of love to keep her man out of jail. For a black girl lost, murder was always in the cards. . . 

I AM ALFONSO JONES

By Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson 


Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school’s hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun, and he shoots Alfonso.


When Alfonso wakes up in the afterlife, he’s on a ghost train guided by well-known victims of police shootings, who teach him what he needs to know about this subterranean spiritual world. Meanwhile, Alfonso’s family and friends struggle with their grief and seek justice for Alfonso in the streets. As they confront their new realities, both Alfonso and those he loves realize the work that lies ahead in the fight for justice.

FIST, STICK, KNIFE, GUN

By Geoffrey Canada, Jamar Nichols

Recreating his childhood world in New York City, Geoffrey Canada was a small, vulnerable, scared boy growing up in the South Bronx. His world was one where "sidewalk" boys learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, and knife. Then the streets changed, and the stakes got even higher. In this candid and riveting book, Canada relives a childhood in which violence stalked every street corner. "If you wonder how a fourteen-year-old can shoot another child his own age in the head and then go home to dinner," Canada writes, "you need to know you don't get there in a day, or week, or month. It takes years of preparation to be willing to commit murder, to be willing to kill or die for a corner, a color, or a leather jacket." 

STATIC SHOCK: REBIRTH OF COOL

By Dwayne McDuffie

The young hero from the animated TV series STATIC SHOCK stars in this new title.


Threatened by high school bullies and ignored by girls, Virgil Hawkins' life changed dramatically when a mutagenic gas accidentally gave him super human abilities, Virgil was reborn as Static, the electrically powered teen super-hero. And while Static tries to balance the pressures of his school work, after school job and family life, he also protects his inner city neighborhood against villains including Holocaust and Commando X. 

A.D.: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE

By Josh Neufeld


A stunning graphic novel that makes plain the undeniable horrors and humanity triggered by Hurricane Katrina in the true stories of six New Orleanians who survived the storm.


"A.D." follows each of the six from the hours before Katrina struck to its horrific aftermath. Here is Denise, a sixth-generation New Orleanian who will experience the chaos of the Superdome; the Doctor, whose unscathed French Quarter home becomes a refuge for those not so lucky; Abbas and his friend Mansell, who face the storm from the roof of Abbas’s family-run market; Kwame, a pastor’s son whose young life will remain wildly unsettled well into the future; and Leo, a comic-book fan, and his girlfriend, Michelle, who will lose everything but each other. We watch as they make the wrenching decision between staying and evacuating. And we see them coping not only with the outcome of their own decisions but also with those made by politicians, police, and others like themselves--decisions that drastically affect their lives, but over which they have no control.


Overwhelming demand has propelled A.D. from its widely-read early Internet installments to this complete hardcover edition. Scheduled for publication on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane, it shines an uncanny light on the devastating truths and human triumphs of New Orleans after the deluge.