Staff Book Lists:

Lists of recommended books for various occasions and audiences: — Adult, Young Adult, or Childrens.

You can also request a personalized list of Childrens or Young Adult and Adult selections prepared by JMRL staff.


  1. emperor of all maladies a biography of cancer by Mukherjee, Siddhartha.
  2. anatomy of grief by Holinger, Dorothy P.
    Grief and Loss
    Resources for all ages for those experiencing grief or loss
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  3. october country by ray bradbury illustrated by joemugnaini all new introduction by the author by Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
    Fall Into Reading: An "On the Same Page" Podcast List
    These books are mentioned in a reading recommendation segment from the OTSP podcast episode S. 6 E. 13!
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  4. 10 truths and a dare by Elston, Ashley.
    Teens' Top Ten Winners 2022
    The Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list presented by the Young Adult Library Services Association, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online between August 15 - October 15 on the Teens' Top Ten site, ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten
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  5. lioness by Bohjalian, Chris, 1962-
    Books on Tap 2023
    Book group readings for 2023
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  6. all her little secrets a novel by Morris, Wanda M. 1959-
    Black Authors With Black Characters
    Diverse books serve both as mirrors and windows of different human emotions and experiences. They offer a powerful opportunity to build community, increase empathy, and push back against bias and prejudice. These books were chosen for this list because they also feature cover representation. It is so powerful to see faces and bodies that look like your own reflected back to you on a book cover. Enjoy!
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  7. fred stays with me by Coffelt, Nancy.
    Divorce and Separation
    Children's and Teen books about divorce and separation
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  8. things fall apart by Achebe, Chinua.
    Literary Masterpieces Book Group (Gordon)
    A book group that meets regularly to discuss literary classics.  New members and visitors are welcome.  This group currently meets on the first Thursday of the month via Zoom.  This virtual program can be accessed both by Zoom online and by a toll-free phone number. Sign up to receive details.
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  9. other words for home by Warga, Jasmine.
  10. activate your goodness transforming the world through doing good by Arison, Shari, 1957-
  11. love songs of w e b du bois a novel by Jeffers, Honorée Fanonne, 1967-
    Monday Night Book Club (Crozet) - September 2022-July 2023
    Join this informal group for relaxed and stimulating book discussions. Newcomers always welcome. Drop by in person at the Crozet Library or sign up online for instructions on how to join this Zoom meeting by computer.
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  12. move how the new science of body movement can set your mind free by Williams, Caroline, 1975-
    Mindful Movement
    Books on moving mindfully
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  13. radiant the dancer the scientist and a friendship forged in light by Heinecke, Liz Lee,
    Celebrate International Day of Friendship!
    International Friendship Day is recognized globally on July 30.
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  14. passing by Larsen, Nella.
    Brown Baggers (Central) June 2022 - May 2023
    The Brown Baggers Book Club at Central meet on the third Thursday of the month 12-1pm
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  15. migrations by McConaghy, Charlotte.
    Books on Tap 2022
    Books on Tap book group reading list
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  16. last last day of summer by Giles, L. R.
    Spine Crackers Fall 2022
    A Tween Book Club for ages 9 - 12 Second Thursdays @ Central Library 4:30 - 5:30 pm
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  17. unbroken an olympian s journey from airman to castaway to captive by Hillenbrand, Laura.
    Oceans of Possibilities
    Read something oceanic and check off a Summer Challenge 2022 activity
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  18. just harriet by Arnold, Elana K.
    Mysteries Grades 2-3
    Chapter mysteries for younger readers.
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  19. american marriage by Jones, Tayari.
  20. soul of an octopus a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness by Montgomery, Sy.
    On the Same Page Podcast Summer Reading
    These books mentioned in JMRL's On the Same Page podcase will help you complete this summer's reading challenge!
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  21. gender queer a memoir by Kobabe, Maia.
  22. great believers by Makkai, Rebecca.
    Read With Pride
    LGBTQ+ fiction for adults
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  23. clara and clem under the sea by Long, Ethan.
  24. rice a savor the south cookbook by Twitty, Michael, 1977-
  25. grandmother ptarmigan by Mikkigak, Qaunak, 1932-
  26. love letters to the dead a novel by Dellaira, Ava.
    YA books to make you cry
    Have a box of tissues ready! TW: Many of the books on this list deal with tough topics including abuse, death, mental illness, and more.
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  27. counting by 7s by Sloan, Holly Goldberg, 1958-
    Disability Visibility: MG & YA books
    Middle grade and young adult novels (and one nonfiction title) featuring characters with visible and invisible disabilities and chronic conditions
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  28. almost flying by Arlow, Jake Maia.
    Girl Crush! MG & YA novels
    Middle grade and young adult novels with f/f romance and identity discovery
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  29. flowers by Gibbons, Gail.
  30. wildflowers of the shenandoah valley and blue ridge mountains by Gupton, Oscar W.
  31. Beyond the How-To Festival
    Want more how-to? Check out these great titles from JMRL!
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  32. life inside my mind 31 authors share their personal struggles by
  33. don t throw it grow it 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Peterson, Deborah.
  34. complete houseplant survival manual essential know how for keeping not killing more than 160 indoor plants by Pleasant, Barbara.
    Gardening and Houseplants
    Nurture the plants in your life with help from these selections.
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  35. story of more how we got to climate change and where to go from here adapted for young adults by Jahren, Hope.
    Climate Change
    Books for young adults focused on climate change
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  36. new jim crow mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Alexander, Michelle.
    Civil War, Reconstruction, and Black History
    A selection of fiction and nonfiction books for adults.
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  37. american bastard a memoir by Beatty, Jan, 1952-
    Virginia Festival of the Book 2022
    Virginia Festival of the Book will be held March 16-20 this year as a hybrid event, both in person and virtual. There is a full schedule of engaging discussions for all ages and interests. Check https://www.vabook.org/ for full details. Here is a list of books and authors you will find featured during the festival. Most of these books are available in multiple formats. If you're interested in large print, an ebook, audiobook, or a book on CD, search for the desired title in the catalogue search bar, and your results will include all formats.
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  38. medical apartheid the dark history of medical experimentation on black americans from colonial times to the present by Washington, Harriet A.
    Black History Month 2022: Black Health and Wellness
    Check out https://asalh.org/ for more amazing resources, virtual events, and ways to get involved and connected.
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  39. we are not from here by Torres Sanchez, Jenny.
    SamePage 2022
    A list of suggested titles related to the book We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
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  40. her fearless run kathrine switzer s historic boston marathon by Chaffee, Kim.
  41. they called us enemy by Takei, George, 1937-
  42. happily ever afters by Bryant, Elise.
    Celebrate Black Authors
    Celebrating Black authors during Black History Month 2022
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  43. misinformation age how false beliefs spread by O
  44. you are my happy by Kotb, Hoda, 1964-
    Mindfulness For Kids
    Practicing Mindfulness helps children to notice the positives and get a perspective on the negatives. This assists in developing a sense of appreciation, gratitude and contentment.
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  45. please don t sit on my bed in your outside clothes essays by Robinson, Phoebe.
  46. they went left by Hesse, Monica.
  47. gentleman in moscow a novel by Towles, Amor.
  48. running with lions by Winters, Julian.
  49. mrs piggle wiggle by MacDonald, Betty Bard.
    Kids book club recommendations
    JMRL Bookaroos and Book Bites book group members love and recommend these books!
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  50. federico and the wolf by Gomez, Rebecca J.
  51. hold me closer necromancer by McBride, Lish.
    Romance Free Books for Teens
    Books for teens with little to no romance
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  52. copper sun by Draper, Sharon M.
    #1000BlackGirlBooks - Teens
    https://grassrootscommunityfoundation.org/1000-black-girl-books-resource-guide/
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  53. assignment by Wiemer, Liza.
    Jewish American Heritage Month for teens
    Young Adult novels featuring Jewish American characters.
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  54. 1 000 butterflies an illustrated guide to the world s most beautiful butterflies featuring all the families subfamilies tribes and major genera by Hoskins, Adrian.
    Environmental Titles for Earth Day
    Celebrate Earth Day Every Day on April 22 and beyond! This list of fiction and nonfiction titles tackles environmental issues and plant-based eating, as well as climate and eco fiction. If you like this list, you may also want to check out our list titled "Climate Change Nonfiction": https://hestia.jmrl.org/findit/MyResearch/MyList/576
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  55. appropriate an octoroon plays by Jacobs-Jenkins, Branden.
    The Golden Collection
    15 plays by prominent Black playwrights, donated in honor of Jeremy O. Harris. Learn more about the Golden Collection here: https://slaveplaybroadway.com/resources/
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  56. almost american girl an illustrated memoir by Ha, Robin.
    Many Cultures, Many Gifts, One Home: Diversity in Books for Teens
    A list of books for teens representing diverse cultural heritage and backgrounds. Compiled for the 2021 Festival of Cultures.
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  57. 7 tools to beat addiction by Peele, Stanton.
    Mental Health Resources
    Books (and a few movies) on depression, anxiety, grief, addiction, and other mental health concerns. This list includes fiction, poetry, memoirs, and nonfiction.
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  58. what s new cupcake ingeniously simple designs for every occasion by Tack, Karen.
    Great Library Bake Off - Baking Books and DVDs
    For those participating in the Great Library Bake Off, or anyone who feel the urge to create something delicious! We have much more than this, so we hope you'll make an appointment to browse the shelves at one of our libraries.
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  59. against the loveless world a novel by Abulhawa, Susan,
    Virginia Festival of the Book 2021
    Virtual event March 13-26, 2021. Most of these books are available in multiple formats. If you're interested in large print, an ebook, audiobook, or book on CD, search for the desired title in the catalogue search bar, and your results will include all formats.
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  60. 10 best anxiety busters simple strategies to take control of your worry by Wehrenberg, Margaret.
    Self Care
    Information and methods related to self care, including: yoga, meditation, anti-anxiety practices, stress management, easy recipes, soothing hobbies, and more!
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  61. everything sad is untrue a true story by Nayeri, Daniel.
  62. ali a life by Eig, Jonathan.
    The Undefeated
    More information about the people featured in The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson.
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  63. scarlett epstein hates it here by Breslaw, Anna.
    Fandom and Geek Culture
    Titles featuring fanfic, hacking, video games, fan art, comics, TV fandom and more.
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  64. turtles all the way down by Green, John, 1977-
    Mental Health in Young Adult Literature
    Books with characters who experience anxiety, depression, self-harm, OCD, ADHD, eating disorders, and more.
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  65. solo by Alexander, Kwame.
    African American Authors
    A sample of YA books by African American authors
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  66. red white royal blue by McQuiston, Casey.
    Humorous Fiction
    Get your happy on with a chuckle or an outright belly laugh with some humorous fiction. This list includes humor in tough situations, romantic comedy, satire, and more. Look for the tags!
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  67. i never had it made an autobiography by Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972.
    African-American Athletes: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about African-American athletes.
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  68. Civil Rights Movement: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about the Civil Rights Movement.
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  69. stokely a life by Joseph, Peniel E.
    Black Power Movement: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about the Black Power Movement.
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  70. black inventors in the age of segregation granville t woods lewis h latimer shelby j davidson by Fouché, Rayvon, 1969-
    African American Inventors and Scientists: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about African-American inventors and scientists.
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  71. black lives matter by Edwards, Sue Bradford.
    Black Lives Matter: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about the Black Lives Matter movement.
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  72. breakbeat poets new american poetry in the age of hip hop by
    African American Poetry for Adults
    A sample of poems by African Americans in the JMRL catalog.
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  73. worst journey in the world by Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, 1886-1959.
    In the Kingdom of Ice Read Alikes
    Real-life adventures in cold climates and the ice that sustains them. Books on Tap January 2021
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  74. four tendencies the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better and other people s lives better too by Rubin, Gretchen.
    Goals, Motivation, and Habits
    Books that will help you build new habits and break down old ones in pursuit of your goals.
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  75. 100 plays for the first hundred days by Parks, Suzan-Lori.
    Plays Written by Women
    From classic to contemporary, browse a sampling of JMRL's collection of plays written by women.
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  76. Read Local: Virginia Authors For Teens
    This list is a compilation of authors who live in the state of Virginia and write for teens.
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  77. aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by Sáenz, Benjamin Alire.
  78. hungry hearts 13 tales of food love by
    Cozy Reads for Teens
    A mug of cocoa for your heart!
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  79. american panda by Chao, Gloria, 1986-
    Asian/Pacific American Heritage in Young Adult Literature
    Books featuring Asian/Pacific American characters or themes.
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  80. all the real indians died off and 20 other myths about native americans by Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne, 1939-
    Contemporary Native American & Indigenous Voices
    Recent books for adults by Native American own voices.
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  81. better late than never by Roby, Kimberla Lawson.
    Christian Fiction by Black Authors
    Black authors writing novels with contemporary Christian themes. These books range from sweet to sizzling.
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  82. why we dream the transformative power of our nightly journey by Robb, Alice.
  83. give me some truth a novel with paintings by Gansworth, Eric L.
  84. their eyes were watching god by Hurston, Zora Neale.
    Historical Fiction - African Americans
    This list contains older classic historical fiction titles and some newer titles. In all of them the main characters and the themes of the book focus on African Americans and their history and culture.
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  85. angus thongs and full frontal snogging confessions of georgia nicolson by Rennison, Louise.
    Humorous Teen Fiction
    It feels great to sink into a good book—and even better when that book can elicit some laughs. These books feature different kinds of humor including dark humor, hyperbole/exaggeration, sarcasm, satire, surprise, irony and pun.
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  86. one of us is lying by McManus, Karen M.
  87. man s search for meaning by Frankl, Viktor E. 1905-1997.
    Philosophy Book Club List
    Books covering works written by philosophers, as well as books about philosophy, or philosophical concerns such as happiness, meaning and freedom.
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  88. all around us by Gonzalez, Xelena.
    Indigenous Own Voices Stories
    A list of stories written by indigenous people
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  89. index to virginia estates 1800 1865 by Pippenger, Wesley E., 1956-
    Virginia Genealogical Resources
    Resources for genealogical researchers available for viewing at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society Reading Room.
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  90. water for elephants a novel by Gruen, Sara.
    NaNoWriMo-Born Books
    Books that were written during NaNoWriMo
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  91. artful edit on the practice of editing yourself by Bell, Susan 1958-
    NaNoWriMo Resources
    NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) takes place every November, and challenges participants to write a novel in a month. This list should inspire and guide you all year long as you write. We've collected resources on craft, editing, and even marketing and selling your work.
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  92. breath the new science of a lost art by Nestor, James.
    Breathing for Health
    These materials relate to breathing and meditation for health and wellbeing. Check out this list for books on how the smallest changes can make big impacts.
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  93. star wars ahsoka by Johnston, E. K.
    Star Wars Picks for Teens
    Lovers of all things Star Wars Reads in the teen section of the library. We combined a selection of graphic novels and fiction for your enjoyment.
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  94. absolutely true diary of a part time indian by Alexie, Sherman, 1966-
  95. justin by Alonge, L. J.
    Quick Reads for Teens
    Sometimes you just need a quick read - a short book that you can pick up and polish off fast.
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  96. george by Gino, Alex.
    Challenged + Banned Books 2015-2019
    According to the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, these were the most challenged books between 2015-2019.
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  97. last train to key west by Cleeton, Chanel.
    LatinX Experience Adult Fiction
    During Latinx Heritage Month, JMRL is proud to highlight the cultures, contributions and resilience of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities around the world.
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  98. american road trip by Flores-Scott, Patrick.
  99. all are welcome by Penfold, Alexandra.
  100. invictus by Graudin, Ryan.
  101. ember in the ashes a novel by Tahir, Sabaa.
  102. unwanteds by McMann, Lisa.
  103. cinder by Meyer, Marissa.
  104. alanna the first adventure by Pierce, Tamora.
    Ready for YA? Staff Picks for Younger Readers
    Books for those transitioning from the Children's to the Young Adult collection.
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  105. book scavenger by Bertman, Jennifer Chambliss.
    Mysteries Grades 4-6
    Chapter mysteries for older readers.
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  106. giver by Lowry, Lois.
  107. radius of us by Marquardt, Marie F., 1972-
    The Story of US Immigration in Young Adult Fiction and Non-fiction
    Check out these titles about the stories of immigration and immigrants to the U.S.
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  108. let s talk about love by Kann, Claire.
  109. city of dreams the 400 year epic history of immigrant new york by Anbinder, Tyler.
    The Story of US Immigration (Adult Non-Fiction )
    In honor of Welcome Week 2020, which aimed to: “affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.” Check out this selection of titles to learn more about the story of immigration in the United States.
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  110. americanah a novel by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, 1977-
    The Story of US Immigration (Adult Fiction)
    In honor of Welcome Week 2020, which aimed to: “affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.” Check out this selection of titles to learn more about the story of immigration in the United States.
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  111. when you look out the window how phyllis lyon and del martin built a community by Pitman, Gayle E.
    Celebrating Pride (Older Readers)
    LGBTQ+ themed books for older readers
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  112. superman smashes the klan the graphic novel by Yang, Gene Luen.
    Teen Services Staff Picks
    Favorites by JMRL Teen Services Staff
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  113. my princess boy a mom s story about a young boy who loves to dress up by Kilodavis, Cheryl.
    Celebrating Pride (Younger Readers)
    LGBTQ+ themed books for younger readers
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  114. let it shine stories of black women freedom fighters by Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
    Black History Month - 2020 Theme: African Americans and the Vote
    Selected books to celebrate Black History Month, February 2020.
    See all lists by Katherine Perdue

  115. we have always lived in the castle by Jackson, Shirley, 1916-1965.
    Staff Picks
    JMRL staff reads widely and is happy to share many 'good reads' with you. Here are some recommendations for this month's reading.
    See all lists by Katherine Perdue

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