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By Samra Habib. 2019
Growing up in Pakistan, Samra Habib lacks a blueprint for the life she wants. She has a mother who gave… up everything to be a pious, dutiful wife and an overprotective father who seems to conspire against a life of any adventure. Plus, she has to hide the fact that she's Ahmadi to avoid persecution from religious extremists. As the threats against her family increase, they seek refuge in Canada, where new financial and cultural obstacles await them. When Samra discovers that her mother has arranged her marriage, she must again hide a part of herself--the fun-loving, feminist teenager that has begun to bloom--until she simply can't any longer. So begins a journey of self-discovery that takes her to Tokyo, where she comes to terms with her sexuality, and to a queer-friendly mosque in Toronto, where she returns to her faith in the same neighbourhood where she attended her first drag show. Along the way, she learns that the facets of her identity aren't as incompatible as she was led to believe, and that her people had always been there--the world just wasn't ready for them yet. 2019.
By Badeeah Hassan Ahmed. 2019
Captured by ISIS, known locally as Daesh, Badeeah was among hundreds forced into a brutal human trafficking network made up… of women and girls of Ezidi ethnicity, a much-persecuted minority culture of Iraq. Badeeah's story takes her to Syria where she is sold to a high-ranking ISIS commander known as Al Amriki, the American, kept as a house slave, raped, and routinely assaulted. Only the presence of her young nephew Eivan and her friend Navine, also prisoners, keeps her from harming herself. In captivity, she draws on memories and stories from her childhood to maintain a small bit of control in an otherwise volatile situation. Ultimately, it is her profound sense of faith and brave resistance that lead her to escape with Eivan and reunite with family. Since her escape, Badeeah has brought her harrowing story of war and survival to the world's stage, raising awareness about the little-known acts of genocide against her culture and the strength of a people unknown to many around the world. 2019.
By Susan Page. 2019
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"[The] rare biography of a public figure that's not only beautifully written, but also shockingly revelatory."… -- The AtlanticA vivid biography of former First Lady Barbara Bush, one of the most influential and under-appreciated women in American political history.Barbara Pierce Bush was one of the country's most popular and powerful figures, yet her full story has never been told.THE MATRIARCH tells the riveting tale of a woman who helped define two American presidencies and an entire political era. Written by USA TODAY's Washington Bureau chief Susan Page, this biography is informed by more than one hundred interviews with Bush friends and family members, hours of conversation with Mrs. Bush herself in the final six months of her life, and access to her diaries that spanned decades. THE MATRIARCH examines not only her public persona but also less well-known aspects of her remarkable life. As a girl in Rye, New York, Barbara Bush weathered criticism of her weight from her mother, barbs that left lifelong scars. As a young wife, she coped with the death of her three-year-old daughter from leukemia, a loss that changed her forever. In middle age, she grappled with depression so serious that she contemplated suicide. And as first the wife and then the mother of American presidents, she made history as the only woman to see -- and advise -- both her husband and son in the Oval Office.As with many women of her era, Barbara Bush was routinely underestimated, her contributions often neither recognized nor acknowledged. But she became an astute and trusted political campaign strategist and a beloved First Lady. She invested herself deeply in expanding literacy programs in America, played a critical role in the end of the Cold War, and led the way in demonstrating love and compassion to those with HIV/AIDS. With her cooperation, this book offers Barbara Bush's last words for history -- on the evolution of her party, on the role of women, on Donald Trump, and on her family's legacy.Barbara Bush's accomplishments, struggles, and contributions are many. Now, Susan Page explores them all in THE MATRIARCH, a groundbreaking book certain to cement Barbara Bush as one of the most unique and influential women in American history.
By Julie L. Schwartz. 2020
Since Joel tackles what happens when the unimaginable loss of a child becomes reality. Julie Schwartz introduces readers to her… son Joel David Schwartz, who lived with Autism Spectrum Disorder and died by accidental overdose at age 25. Joel’s unique cognition created situations where he baffled yet informed; infuriated yet endeared; lost and yet won. His mother describes how Joel was a “charming nerd”, inviting us to get to know him in all his complicated detail. She ultimately asks that we maintain Joel’s memory by finding small ways to be kind, and celebrating our differences instead of finding fault with them.
By Helaine Becker. 2018
You've likely heard of the historic Apollo 13 [mission]. But do you know about the mathematical genius who made sure… that Apollo 13 returned safely home? As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about math, about the universe. From Katherine's early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, this is the story of a groundbreaking American woman who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives and made enormous contributions to history. Grades K-3. 2018.
By Stella Bowles. 2018
Stella Bowles was a Grade 6 Nova Scotia student when she turned environmental activist to campaign against sewage pipes draining… straight into the LaHave River. This is the inspirational first person account of Stella's Grade 6 science fair project which caught the eyes of the media, the public and government leaders propelling her into the limelight. Stella details her two and a half year fight to clean up the river, winning numerous awards for her environmental activism along the way. She succeeds in shaming three levels of government and rallying supporters into funding a $$15.7 million cleanup. Today, she continues to campaign for cleaner water and demonstrates to other children how to test water quality in their own backyards, and how to take action if they find their water is polluted too. Grades 3-6.
By Dorothy Ellen Palmer. 2019
Born with congenital anomalies in both feet, then called birth defects, Dorothy Ellen Palmer was adopted as a toddler by… a wounded 1950s family who had no idea how to handle the tangled complexities of adoption and disability. From repeated childhood surgeries to an activist awakening at university to decades as a feminist teacher, mom, improv coach and unionist, she tried to hide being different. But now, standing proud with her walker, she's sharing her journey. Navigating abandonment, abuse and ableism, she finds her birth parents and a new chosen family in the disability community. 2019.
By Yasuko Thanh. 2019
Mistakes to Run With chronicles the turbulent early years of Yasuko Thanh's life, from a rough childhood to her teen… years as a sex worker to her emergence as a writer. Growing up in a housing project in Victoria, BC, Thanh rebels against her extremely religious parents. She's an honours student, but also a nascent delinquent, cutting herself and getting arrested for shoplifting. By fifteen her parents have kicked her out. She runs away repeatedly from foster homes, acquiring a taste for drugs and alcohol and learning unlikely lessons about sex, power, and friendship. By the time she enters the world of sex work she feels completely abandoned--by her family, her friends, her school, and society. After a stint in jail at sixteen, she meets her pimp, Jesse, and falls in love. The next chapter of her life takes us from the motel rooms of Victoria to the streets of Vancouver, as Thanh endures further hardship: beatings, arrests, Jesse's crack cocaine addiction, and an unwanted pregnancy. It's the act of writing that ultimately becomes a solace from her suffering--but even as publication and awards bolster her, she remains haunted by her past. 2019.
By Helen Knott. 2019
A nationally bestselling book on the struggle of addiction and the power of Indigenous resilience. Helen Knott, a highly accomplished… Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption. With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit. "In My Own Moccasins never flinches. The story goes dark, and then darker. We live in an era where Indigenous women routinely go missing, our youth are killed and disposed of like trash, and the road to justice doesn’t seem to run through the rez. Knott’s journey is familiar, filled with the fallout of residential school, racial injustice, alcoholism, drugs, and despair. But she skillfully draws us along and opens up her life, her family, and her communities to show us a way forward. It’s the best kind of memoir: clear-eyed, generous, and glorious….Bear witness to the emergence of one of the most powerful voices of her generation." —Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach (from the foreword) “Helen Knott speaks truth to the experience of Indigenous women living through the violence of colonized spaces and she does so with grace, beauty and a ferocity that makes me feel so proud.” —Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost “Helen writes beautifully and painfully, about her own life and the lives of many of our sisters. A strong, gentle voice removing the colonial blanket and exposing truth.” —Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed “An incredible debut that documents how trauma and addiction can be turned into healing and love. I am in awe of Helen Knott and her courage. I am a fan for life. Wow.” —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed “Heartfelt, heartbreaking, triumphant and raw, In My Own Moccasins is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt lost in their life… Actually, it's a must-read for anyone who appreciates stories of struggle, redemption and healing. Knott’s writing is confident, clear, powerful and inspiring.” —Jowita Bydlowska, author of Guy: A Novel and Drunk Mom “Powerful, filled with emotion.” —Carol Daniels, author of Bearskin Diary and Hiraeth "A beautiful rendering of how recovery for our peoples is inevitably about reconnecting with Indigenous identities, lands, cultural and healing practices." —Kim Anderson, author of Reconstructing Native Womenhood
By Kelly S. Thompson. 2019
At eighteen years old, Kelly Thompson enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces. Despite growing up in a military family --… she would, in fact, be a fourth-generation soldier -- she couldn't shake the feeling that she didn't belong. From the moment she arrives for basic training at a Quebec military base, a young woman more interested in writing than weaponry, she quickly realizes that her conception of what being a soldier means, forged from a desire to serve her country after the 9/11 attacks, isn't entirely accurate. A career as a female officer will involve navigating a masculinized culture and coming to grips with her burgeoning feminism. In this compulsively readable memoir, Thompson writes with wit and honesty about her own development as a woman and a soldier, unsparingly highlighting truths about her time in the military. In sharply crafted prose, she chronicles the frequent sexism and misogyny she encounters both in training and later in the workplace, and explores her own feelings of pride and loyalty to the Forces, and a family legacy of PTSD, all while searching for an artistic identity in a career that demands conformity. When she sustains a career-altering injury, Thompson fearlessly re-examines her identity as a soldier. 2019.
By Sara Quin. 2019
High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, growing… up in the height of grunge and rave culture in the 90s, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents' divorce, and the looming pressure of what might come after high school. Written in alternating chapters from both Tegan's point of view and Sara's, the book is a raw account of the drugs, alcohol, love, music, and friendship they explored in their formative years. A transcendent story of first loves and first songs, it captures the tangle of discordant and parallel memories of two sisters who grew up in distinct ways even as they lived just down the hall from one another. 2019.
By Liz Levine. 2020
A genuinely moving, funny, and inventive account of loss and grief, mental illness and suicide, from film and TV producer… Liz Levine (Story of a Girl), written in the aftermath of the deaths of her sister and best friend.I feel like I might be a terrible person to be laughing in these moments. But it turns out, I’m not alone. In November of 2016, Liz Levine’s younger sister, Tamara, reached a breaking point after years of living with mental illness. In the dark hours before dawn, she sent a final message to her family then killed herself. In Nobody Ever Talks About Anything But the End, Liz weaves the story of what happened to Tamara with another significant death—that of Liz’s childhood love, Judson, to cancer. She writes about her relationship with Judson, Tamara’s struggles, the conflicts that arise in a family of challenging personalities, and how death casts a long shadow. This memorable account of life and loss is haunting yet filled with dark humor—Tamara emails her family when Trump is elected to check if she’s imagining things again, Liz discovers a banana has been indicted as a whistleblower in an alleged family conspiracy, and a little niece declares Tamara’s funeral the “most fun ever!” With honesty, Liz exposes the raw truths about grief and mourning that we often shy away from—and almost never share with others. And she reveals how, in the midst of death, life—with all its messy complications—must also be celebrated.
By Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Clinton. 2019
Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them—women with the… courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?” Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics. HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible. CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth. Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book. So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right. To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.
By Ami McKay. 2019
The story of Ami McKay's connection to a genetic disorder called Lynch syndrome begins over seventy years before she was… born and long before scientists discovered DNA. In 1895 her great-great aunt, Pauline Gross, a seamstress in Ann Arbor, Michigan, confided to a pathology professor at the local university that she expected to die young, like so many others in her family. Rather than dismiss her fears, the pathologist chose to enlist Pauline in the careful tracking of those in her family tree who had died of cancer. Pauline's premonition proved true--she died at 46--but because of her efforts, her family (who the pathologist dubbed 'Family G') would become the longest and most detailed cancer genealogy ever studied in the world. A century after Pauline's confession, researchers would identify the genetic mutation responsible for the family's woes. Now known as Lynch syndrome, the genetic condition predisposes its carriers to several types of cancer, including colorectal, endometrial, ovarian and pancreatic. In 2001, as a young mother with two sons and a keen interest in survival, Ami McKay was among the first to be tested for Lynch syndrome. She had a feeling she'd test positive: her mother's side of the family was riddled with early deaths and her own mother was being treated for the disease. When the test proved her fears true, she began living in "an unsettling state between wellness and cancer," and she's been there ever since. 2019.
By Lizzie Collingham. 2011
A New York Times Notable Book of 2012 Food, and in particular the lack of it, was central to the… experience of World War II. In this richly detailed and engaging history, Lizzie Collingham establishes how control of food and its production is crucial to total war. How were the imperial ambitions of Germany and Japan - ambitions which sowed the seeds of war - informed by a desire for self-sufficiency in food production? How was the outcome of the war affected by the decisions that the Allies and the Axis took over how to feed their troops? And how did the distinctive ideologies of the different combatant countries determine their attitudes towards those they had to feed? Tracing the interaction between food and strategy, on both the military and home fronts, this gripping, original account demonstrates how the issue of access to food was a driving force within Nazi policy and contributed to the decision to murder hundreds of thousands of 'useless eaters' in Europe. Focusing on both the winners and losers in the battle for food, The Taste of War brings to light the striking fact that war-related hunger and famine was not only caused by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, but was also the result of Allied mismanagement and neglect, particularly in India, Africa and China. American dominance both during and after the war was not only a result of the United States' immense industrial production but also of its abundance of food. This book traces the establishment of a global pattern of food production and distribution and shows how the war subsequently promoted the pervasive influence of American food habits and tastes in the post-war world. A work of great scope, The Taste of War connects the broad sweep of history to its intimate impact upon the lives of individuals. .
By Michael Good. 2006
When The Search for Major Plagge was published last spring the world finally learned about a unique hero … and about one American doctor s extraordinary journey to tell Karl Plagge s story Part detective story part personal quest Michael Good s book is the story of the German commander of a Lithuanian work camp who saved hundreds of Jewish lives in the Vilna ghetto including the life of Good s mother Pearl Who was this enigmatic officer Pearl Good had spoken of so often After five years of research interviewing survivors assembling a team that could work to open German files untouched for fifty years following every lead he could Good was able to uncover the amazing tale of one man s remarkable courage And in April 2005 Karl Plagge joined Oskar Schindler and 380 other Germans as a Righteous among Nations honored by the State of Israel for protecting and saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust This expanded edition features new photographs and a new epilogue on the impact of the discovery of Karl Plagge especially the story of 83-year-old Alfons von Deschwanden who after fifty years of silence came forward as a veteran of Plagge s unit His testimony is now part of this growing witness to truth
Under the code name Operation Reinhard more than one and a half million Jews were murdered between 1942 and… 1943 in the concentration camps of Belzec Sobibor and Treblinka located in Nazi-occupied Poland Unlike more well-known camps which were used both for slave labor and extermination these camps existed purely to murder Jews Few victims survived to tell their stories and the camps were largely forgotten after they were dismantled in 1943 The Operation Reinhard Death Camps bears eloquent witness to this horrific tragedy This newly revised and expanded edition includes new material on the history of the Jews under German occupation in Poland the execution and timing of Operation Reinhard information about the ghettos in Lublin Warsaw Krakow Radom and Galicia and updated numbers of the victims who were murdered during deportations In addition to documenting the horror of the camps Yitzhak Arad recounts the stories of those courageous enough to struggle against the Nazis and their Final Solution Arad s work retrieves the experiences of Operation Reinhard s victims and survivors from obscurity and exposes a terrible chapter in humanity s history
By Lesley Blanch, Georgia De Chamberet. 2005
A stunning tale set in England, Paris, and Moscow, chronicling Blanch's love for an older Russian man and the passionate… obsession that takes her to Siberia and beyond.“My book is not altogether autobiography, nor altogether travel or history either. You will just have to invent a new category,” Lesley Blanch wrote about Journey into the Mind’s Eye, a book that remains as singularly adventurous and intoxicating now as when it first came out in 1968. Russia seized Lesley Blanch when she was still a child. A mysterious traveler—swathed in Siberian furs, bearing Fabergé eggs and icons as gifts along with Russian fairy tales and fairy tales of Russia—came to visit her parents and left her starry-eyed. Years later the same man returned to sweep her off her feet. Her love affair with the Traveller, as she calls him, transformed her life and fueled an abiding fascination with Russia and Russian culture, one that would lead her to dingy apartments reeking of cabbage soup and piroshki on the outskirts of Paris in the 1960s, and to Siberia and beyond.
By Gare Thompson, Nancy Harrison. 2004
For a long time, the main role of First Ladies was to act as hostesses of the White House...until Eleanor… Roosevelt. Born in 1884, Eleanor was not satisfied to just be a glorified hostess for her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Eleanor had a voice, and she used it to speak up against poverty and racism. She had experience and knowledge of many issues, and fought for laws to help the less fortunate. She had passion, energy, and a way of speaking that made people listen, and she used these gifts to campaign for her husband and get him elected president-four times! A fascinating historical figure in her own right, Eleanor Roosevelt changed the role of First Lady forever.
By Alexander Prusin. 2017
The 1941 Axis invasion of Yugoslavia initially left the German occupiers with a pacified Serbian heartland willing to cooperate in… return for relatively mild treatment. Soon, however, the outbreak of resistance shattered Serbia's seeming tranquility, turning the country into a battlefield and an area of bitter civil war. Deftly merging political and social history, Serbia under the Swastika looks at the interactions between Germany's occupation policies, the various forces of resistance and collaboration, and the civilian population. Alexander Prusin reveals a German occupying force at war with itself. Pragmatists intent on maintaining a sedate Serbia increasingly gave way to Nazified agencies obsessed with implementing the expansionist racial vision of the Third Reich. As Prusin shows, the increasing reliance on terror catalyzed conflict between the nationalist Chetniks, communist Partisans, and the collaborationist government. Prusin unwraps the winding system of expediency that at times led the factions to support one-another against the Germans--even as they fought a ferocious internecine civil war to determine the future of Yugoslavia.