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Book recommendations for the 2021 holiday season

Nenad Stojkovic/Flickr Creative Commons

Of all the fresh books, which titles make the best gifts?

Carla Du Pree of CityLit Projectnarrows it down. She shares top picks, from "me too" activist Tarana Burke’s memoir to a novel about a daughter returning to her oil boomtown home, decades later. Du Pree was featured in the most recent issue of Bmore Art magazine.

And from Baltimore City Librarian Paula Willey--titles for kids. She says the picture book "Outside, Inside," by LeUyen Pham offers a gentle way to reflect on the pandemic.

For more suggestions, check out NPR's Books We Love list.

Carla Du Pree's recommendations for adults
Because You Just Oughta Books:
"1619 Project: A New Origin Story," edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones
"Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement," by Tarana Burke

Raise Her Voice Books:
"Girlhood," by Melissa Febos
"White Magic," by Elissa Washuta
"Brown Girls," by Daphne Palasi Andreades

We Live in Other Worlds Books:
"Hell of a Book," by Jason Mott
"Speculation, n." by Shayla Lawz

Show Some Local LitLove Books:
"O Beautiful," by Jung Yun
"Artists in Residency," by Melissa Wyse, Illustrations by Kate Lewis
"Silent Winds, Dry Seas," by Vinod Busjeet
"Stumbling Towards Grace," by Rosalia Scalia
"Bride of the Seas," by Eman Quotah

Paula Willey's recommendations for kids and teens
Exciting book series for independent readers:
Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi
Tristan Strong series by Kwame Mbalia
A Tale Dark and Grimm 3-book set by Adam Gidwitz
Jasmine Green Rescues series by Helen Peters and Ellie Snowdon

Graphic novels:
History Comics series
Science Comics series

Read aloud books to share
Vamos! series by Raul the Third
"The Wind May Blow," by Sasha Quinton, illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook
"Outside, Inside," by LeUyen Pham.
"Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem," by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long

"Black Artists Shaping the World," Sharna Jackson and Zoé Whitley
"We’re Better Than This: Young Readers' Edition: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy," by Elijah Cummings
"The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs: 100+ Recipes that You'll Love to Cook and Eat," by America's Test Kitchen

Manga readers:
Fairy Tail box set
Akira box set

Raybearer series by Jordan Ifueko
"Not So Pure and Simple," by Lamar Giles

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.