‘Tis the Season…for Books!

in Winter 2021 by

For any season or time of giving, the Park Library naturally believes that books make the best gifts. We are therefore delighted to offer Best of the Year suggestions for readers of all ages in our community.  This year, our recommendations are inspired and informed by our newest library collection initiative: BIPOC 365. Acknowledging the continued underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voices in our collective cultural spaces, we are dedicated to adding a BIPOC book a day for an entire year. We launched this effort on September 1, and we envision the Park community benefitting from the daily gift of wide-ranging creative works that center marginalized voices.

Our BIPOC 365 blog features our recommended books alongside many other recent publications, all with direct links to our online library catalog. Some of these are also available through our digital and audio book collection, Sora. Please explore these resources and contact us if you have questions or would like to check out any of the titles for your family.

If you plan to purchase books, we encourage you to support local, independent booksellers, like the Black-owned Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury. You can also support independent bookstores nationwide by ordering online through Bookshop.org. If you are looking to support an organization that brings books to kids who need them, we suggest Line4Line, a creative literacy nonprofit organization in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, suggested by Park alum Lucy Perera ’84. They center their work on books featuring BIPOC authors and characters so students are able to see themselves in the books and identify as readers and leaders.

For our younger readers, and for great family read alouds and discussions, we recommend:

  • A dynamic picture book that combines superpowers and the engineering design process, written by Park’s own Coleman family! 
  • A necessary and child-friendly account of ongoing Native American challenges and triumphs 
  • An inspiring true story about the man who challenged the Supreme Court and won birthright citizenship for all Americans
  • An energetic new early reader series by Raul the Third that scores a lucha libre smackdown!
  • A mesmerizing and magical chapter book adventure that weaves together ancient Islamic stories and modern pop culture

Check out these books (and many others!) on the BIPOC 365 blog

For older readers (and for great family read alouds and discussions!), consider:

  • The newest adaptation of Ibram X. Kendi’s seminal antiracist text (also look for the teen version)
  • A beautifully reimagined account of Peter Pan by acclaimed Native author Leitich Smith (Muskogee Creek)
  • Another riveting Rick Riordan global fantasy inspired by Southeast Asian mythology
  • A heartfelt novel of friendship, with a little bit of magic, by the nonbinary Latinx author and activist Mark Oshiro
  • An honest, hopeful, and Muslim-centered story about the lasting effects of the 9/11 attacks

Check out these books (and many others!) on the BIPOC 365 blog

We didn’t forget the adult caregivers! For you, we highly recommend:

  • The latest novels by two of the most accomplished and celebrated authors, Colson Whitehead and Louise Erdrich (Chippewa)
  • The widely anticipated memoir, and a unique perspective on modern China, by a great artist of our time
  • A buzz-worthy memoir by a consummate insider of the contemporary American political scene
  • The newest triumph by mega-talented Latinx novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Check out these books (and many others!) on the BIPOC 365 blog

Park's outstanding library, which contains 30,000 volumes and countless digital materials, is truly the heart of the School. Four librarians provide a welcoming resource center and gathering place for the whole Park community.