2019 Social Justice / Advocacy Winner & Nominees

TOP Advocacy / Social Justice TITLE:  

The War on Kids

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Drinan, Cara H. The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way.  November 2017.  Oxford University Press.  Hardcover $ 27.95. 224 pages. 9780190605551. Adults and Older Teens.   An in-depth guide for understanding the present state of juvenile policing and incarceration, this book combines hard data and research with statements from youth about their own experiences with the system.  A necessary read for understanding how juvenile systems function and how they fail youth.



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DiAngelo, Robin.  White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.  June 2018.  Beacon Press.  Paperback. $16.00.  192 pages. 9780807047414.  Adults and Older Teens.  A valuable self-assessment guide and critical analysis of whiteness, with tools for continued constructive engagement. DiAngelo uses her experience as a diversity trainer to educate white people, who may not believe they are racist, about the ways they perpetuate racist systems and biases.

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Pena, Daniel.  Bang:  a Novel. January 2018.  Arte Publico Press. Paperback.$17.95. 200 pages. 9781558858565.  Adults and Older Teens. A tragic accident forces two brothers to do whatever they can to survive. Pena’s brutal novel reveals the impacts and victims of drug smuggling and the connections across the US and American borders.


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Hinton, Anthony Ray.  The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.  March 2018.  St. Martin’s Press.Hardcover.  $26.99. 272 pages. 9781250124715.  Adults and Older Teens.  Charged with capital murder for a crime he did not commit, Anthony Ray Hinton spends the next thirty years on Death Row at Alabama’s Holoman State Prison. This is the story of Hinton’s imprisonment, his transforming hope, and his and  civil rights attorney’s- Brian Stevenson’s- fight for freedom.


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Davis, Angela J.  Policing the Black Man:  Arrest Prosecution, and Imprisonment.  July 2017.  Pantheon. Hardcover.  $27.95. 352 pages.  9781101871270.  Adults. A collection of essays that explores the criminal justice system’s impact on the lives of African American males of all ages.  Essays reveal every step of the justice process from the roots of racism to police shootings of unarmed black men to the consequences of the disproportionate imprisonment of black boys and men.


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Martinez, David Tomas.  Post Traumatic Hood Disorder: Poems.  March 2018.  Sarabande Books.  Paperback $14.95. 95 pages.  9781946448095. Young Adults Up. Martinez’s coming-of age-poems are rife with the realities of life in the hood. Martinez uses slang, a unique blend of classical and hip-hop references, and his singular style to showcase his past mistakes and a future of possibili


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Picciolini, Christian.  White American Youth:  My Descent into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement and how I Got Out.  December 2017.  Hachette Books. Paperback.  $15.99. 304 pages. 9780316522908.  Young Adults and Up. Picciolini was recruited in to a neo-Nazi group at a young age and quickly became a leader. In this memoir, he bluntly tell his story of hate and violence and how fatherhood and a personal tragedy led him to abandon his ways and become an anti-hate activist.


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Brunais, Andrea.  Hillbilly Drug Baby:  The Story.  December 2018.  Boutique of Quality Books.  Paperback. $17.00. 250 pages.  9781608082032.  Adult. The author documents her and her husband’s struggle to help Jesse-Ray Lewis, an aged-out homeless foster child.  The couple strives to help Lewis overcome his history of drug abuse, violence, and neglect, but they are also transformed along the way.



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Green, Jonathan.  Sex Money Murder:  A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal, 1st edition. May 2018. W. W. Norton & Company.  Hardback. $27.95. 432 pages. 978-0393244489.  Adult. A searing account chronicling the rise and fall of the notorious Sex Money Murder gang, whose territory in the Soundview section of the Bronx was one of the most dangerous in all of New York City.  The author’s extraordinary access to gang leaders, law enforcement, and federal agents creates a riveting insider’s account of a the 1980s-1990s crack epidemic, its repercussions, and its victims.


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Hylton, Donna with Kristine Gasbarre.  A Little Piece of Light: A Memoir of Hope, Prison, and a Life Unbound.  June 2018.  Hachette Books.  Hardcover $28.00.  272 pages. 9780316559256.  Young Adults Up. Originally sentenced to 25-to-life at the age of 19, Hylton has become an outspoken activist for reforming the system.  Follow Hylton’s journey of self-discovery as she realizes her experiences are often mirrored in other female prisoners. This memoir is inspirational, insightful, and a necessary read.



Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 12.57.30 PMPiccolo, Normandy D. Bullied: Dying to Fit In.  January 2018.  Normandy’s Bright Ideas.  Paperback $10.76. 276 pages.  9780997934946. Adults. It’s common knowledge that bullying can be painful for its victims. The five sections of this book – hurting, facts, scoop, healing and #tbh – discuss living through and beyond being bullied and encourage readers to see their own worth while also giving the reader tools to understand bullying and its’ ongoing effects.



Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 12.58.08 PMAllen, Danielle S. Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.  Liveright. September 2017. Hardcover.   $24.95. 9781631493119. Paperback. $15.95. 9781631494949.   256 pages. Adults and Older Teens.   For a moment, it seems like Danielle Allen’s cousin Michael might be one of the lucky ones; he did his time in jail and was making plans for the future. Then, he was killed.  Danielle shares the story of her baby cousin from his childhood in Southern California, to his time in jail, to his eventual murder. Allen is an academic who seamlessly weaves this personal tale with commentary of the United State’s social justice system.


Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 12.57.14 PMBradburd, Rus.  All the Dreams We’ve Dreamed.  May 2018.  Chicago Review Press.  Hardcover. $26.99. 272 pages.  978-1613739310.  Adults and Older Teens.  Years after appearing in the movie Hoop Dreams, Shaun Harrington returns to Chicago’s Marshall High as an assistant basketball coach. His team appears on the brink of new levels of success, when a shooting changes everything and nearly brings an end to all of Harrington’s and the team’s hopes and dreams. Bradford uses Harrington’s story as a lens to tell the story of race, gun violence, and the failures of the US healthcare and education system.