They Were Her Property

They Were Her Property

Stephanie E Jones-Rogers

After that one person was elected president in 2016, I remember the pink pussy hats were out and many women across the nation took to the streets to protest his inauguration. Soon after it was revealed that almost half of all white women voted for that man. There was something not right here…

THEY WERE HER PROPERTY by Stephanie E Jones-Rogers will make your blood boil. History books and the media often try to let white women “off the hook” so to speak, think Scarlett O’Hara or the damsel in distress. They couldn’t REALLY know about the horror of slavery, right? That had nothing to do with them, it was all the men, right? In Jones-Rogers’ thoroughly researched book she just about slams the door on that harmful narrative. Written with incredible detail, she goes through wills, estate sales, birth and death records, newspaper archives, diaries, letters, congressional testimony and so much more to prove that white women who enslaved Black men, women and children were more than just complicit, but actively participated in and even found legal loopholes to gain financial independence and security. It was challenging to get through on many levels, I mean obviously its a book about slavery, so reading about the details of it would make anyone want to throw up, but it was also just relentlessly detailed. And I get why Jones-Rogers made that choice. It is really hard to argue against the facts here (although clearly many are trying). In giving us a fuller picture of how white women stood much to gain (and eventually lose because of its abolition) from slavery, its easy to connect the dots to our present moment in history and the dissection of white feminism. The final chapter lays down the hammer and brings this point home way better than I ever could here in a measly instagram post, but intersectional feminism is the only way forward. Thanks @histroywithher for hosting the buddy read. This is a book I will never forget.

#TheyWereHerProperty #NonFictionBooks #AmericanHistory #UnitedStatesHistory #HistoryBooks #IntersectionalFeminism #ReadMoreBooks #PlantsAndBooks #History #CaliforniaReaders #alwayslearning

They Were Her Property by Stephanie E Jones-Rogers

All Thirteen The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team

All Thirteen The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team

Christina Soontornvant

Middle grade teachers, my students absolutely LOVED this book. Every time we had to stop they begged me to read another chapter. I bought the book and got the audio from libro.fm and it really enriched the experience! In 2018 the whole world had eyes on Thailand as rescuers worked around the clock to save a boys soccer team from a flooded cave. This could be a great book to read aloud during a non fiction unit, and I plan on creating lessons with it next year. My students were surprised it was non-fiction because it was so engaging. Christina Soontornvant really created something special here. We get to know the boys and their coach on a really intimate level that makes the stakes even higher. She also sprinkled in some information about Thailand and their culture. We were on the edge of our seats! You know it’s good when even though you know the ending, you’re still sweating throughout the book. I had some students go home and watch the movie, this morning they came in and said it was so good, but “the book was better.” My heart swelled!

I also found this book inspirational. As someone that recently found a love for nonfiction, why can’t kids have good nonfiction books too? Why can’t we find more books that package tough topics for middle grade readers? Kids LOVE learning about history and science, but much of the nonfiction material available is dry and boring, in my opinion. Picture books are doing a great job of it, especially recently, but what about middle grade readers that are ready for something with more meat? Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places, but who knows maybe I’ll just have to do it myself. Shoutout to @libraryalissa for this impeccable recommendation.

[ID: The book All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team standing on top of a desk. The background is blurry but it looks to be in a classroom with a purple wall and whiteboard in the background.]

#MiddleGradeBooks #WeLoveMGLit #NonfictionBooks #AllThirteen #TheRescue #Thailand #MiddleGradeReadAlouds #FourthGradeReadAlouds #TeachersofInstagram #Bookstagram #IncredibleCaveRescue #AlwaysReading #fourthgradebooks

All Thirteen The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvant

The Warmth Of The Other Suns

The Warmth Of The Other Suns

Isabel Wilkerson

I used to think nonfiction books were boring. Too long! Inaccessible! Not written for me! But now I know it’s because I had a BORING education that was completely whitewashed, sanitized, with no feeling, no stories!

Reading this makes me think how much I missed out on. I think this book is critical reading for anyone trying to gain a better understanding of US history and the Great Migration. I enjoyed how Wilkerson chose to show us this history. We follow the stories of 3 individuals as they all journey north to escape the Jim Crow South. During this period of time 6 million Black people would move from the south to the north and midwest. I am currently reading ALL THAT SHE CARRIED & Tiya Miles describes it in a way that stuck, “out of the jaws of the Jim Crow South and into the teeth of the segregated North.” When I was in school there was a pervasive lie (I use past tense because I am no longer in school, I am sure this lie is alive and well) that the North was safe for African-Americans fleeing the South. THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS paints a strikingly different picture. I found Ida Mae’s story in Chicago particularly illuminating. Dr. Foster’s life in Los Angeles also gave me a greater understanding of my own city and its history.

I reflect sometimes on the way I was taught history, all these broad strokes, with missing pieces. I have a big picture, but when I look close there are obvious gaps. What needs to be in those gaps? Stories. Individual stories. It is a reminder of how crucial it is that we hear each other and learn from each other. To ignore the past or purposely distort it, is to move through the present in a fog. If we are to move towards a more just future, we must be clear eyed about how we got here. It is impossible to do that without the truth. Wilkerson brings the stories of the Great Migration to the center, further solidifying its importance in United States history. There’s so much more I can say. But this book is beautiful. I loved it!

#TheWarmthOfOtherSuns #TheGreatMigration #TeachBetterBooks #Education #Bookstagram #USHistory #NonFictionBooks #Reading #alwayslearning

The Warmth Of The Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Paradise

Paradise

Lizzie Johnson

Fires have always been a part of life in CA, with the fearsome Santa Ana Winds signaling it’s arrival. As a kid it never seemed that bad, but now it is a different story…I went to a wedding in Nov. of 2018 as ash was falling from the sky due to the Woolsey fire. The sun was bright orange, the air smelled like a campfire. 2 years later, the Bobcat Fire would rip through the mountains just 30 minutes from my home. This time the ash fell relentlessly for two weeks. The plants on our patio choked and withered, ash covered my car. It was apocalyptic outside, with sun blocked by smoke. Every day when I looked out my window, my heart was heavy with dread. But I was fortunate, I was safe. Seeing the disaster so close was a constant reminder of the future. Wildfires are expected to increase sixfold in the coming years. How much longer can I live in CA? But where is it safe? I think about this a lot.

Lizzie Johnson gives the reader an in-depth look into that terrifying day for the townspeople of Paradise. We talk a lot about bearing witness and how important it is to know. Giving people affected by these natural disasters a voice on the larger stage is essential if we are to act with empathy. Of course I always had the most respect for firefighters and first responders during wildfire season, but that appreciation has only grown. More importantly, this is a heroic account of the townspeople who also fought against impossible odds to keep people alive and help them escape. The story of the teachers and the bus driver trying to get the kids to safety had me in tears. But most upsetting is that so much of the crisis could have been averted. Poor city planning and PG&E both take the fall, and it makes for a frustrating read.

I do think the book sputtered out a bit towards the end, as if Johnson didn’t quite know where to focus next. But you can most certainly write whole books about PG & E and poor city planning. Johnson clearly has talent, and I look forward to what she decides to write about next. #Paradise #NonFictionBooks #ClimateChange #wildfires #bookstagram

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

Currently Reading

Currently Reading

Just some books I have read this month that I really loved and appreciated for all very different reasons. More thoughts on these soon, but I now have a book hangover. Does that ever happen to you? After reading a good book (or several in row) you just need to catch your breath?

But, HAPPY FRIDAY FOLKS. I hope you all read some good books and find space to relax this weekend! I’d love to know what you plan on reading this weekend! I DNF’ed THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN because I sense it’s a summertime read. I also had to DNF These Violent Delights. I was looking for a messy romance, but there was far too much monster, not enough messiness. Now I’m onto PIRANESI, and it is delivering what I need.

[ID: The three books CLOSER TO NOWHERE, SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN, and PARADISE resting on a white wooden fence. It is very sunny and you can see some green plants in the background.]

#Paradise #ClosertoNowhere #SheWhoBecameTheSun #CurrentlyReading #ReadMoreBooks #MiddleGradeLit #NovelsInVerse #NonFictionBooks #CAWildfires #AltHistoryBooks #AlwaysReading #Bookstagram

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

Stack of Unread Books

Stack of Unread Books

My stack of unread books next to my bed. I have never owned so many unread books in my life. My one intention this year is to whittle this stack down and only read what I own. Everything else will come from the library if I want to read it. I’m a big believer in giving books away when I read them too. I love passing on loved books to friends and family. My only request is that they keep passing the book along. See any here I should prioritize? I hope I can keep this promise to myself. I may have to take a year off #bookstagram to do it. Haha. #bookstagrammer #ilovebooks #alwaysreading #readwhatyouown #TBR #nonfictionbooks #fiction

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

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