Book Club Kits

Image
multiple sets of books on shelves next to a sign that reads book club kits

 

Are you looking for your book club's next great read?

The library now has a collection of book club kits to make your search easier! All kits have at least 10 copies, and many include large print and audio formats. You can check out as many copies as you need for your group (subject to availability). Most titles are also available in ebook or audiobook formats from OverDrive and/or Hoopla. Please call the Information Desk at 825-0702 for more information or if you would like to borrow a kit.
*Please note: some of the Hoopla links will not work unless you are signed into a Hoopla account.
Click here for a printable list of all kits

Kit

Description
Image

Fiction
2018, 308p.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from Oprah.com
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Fiction
2018, 292p.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

1986, Cold War. Marie Mitchell is a brilliant intelligence officer with the FBI, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. When she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.  Inspired by true events—Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”—American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance.
> Find this title on Overdrive
> Discussion questions from Book Companion
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Poetry
1978, 54p.

And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

A collection of poems from Maya Angelou which are powerful, distinctive and as always, full of lifting rhythms of love and remembering.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image


Fiction
2017, 432p.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

A poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2018, 426p.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. In a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, she shares her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from the publisher

Image


Fiction
2017, 342p.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story. Learning that her grandmother was a victim of the corrupt Tennessee Children's Home Society, attorney and aspiriing politician Avery Stafford delves into her family's past and begins to wonder if some things are best kept secret.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Digital Book Club Kit from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Nonfiction
2015, 152p.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race"; a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black men and women-- bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up and murdered out of all proportions. In this profound letter to his adolescent son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from the publisher
> Suggestion for book clubs: Consider pairing this title with James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time.
This kit generously funded through a grant from Beyond the Page, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Madison Community Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2021, 388p.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour 

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.  Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America’s workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image

Nonfiction
2020, 476p.

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system.  Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Reader's Guide from publisher
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image

Fiction (YA)
2018, 314p.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius Kellner is about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming—especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. Darius has never had a true friend before, but he meets Sohrab in Iran and soon Darius has never felt more like himself.  But when it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be himself on his own.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Guide from the publisher

Image

Fiction (YA)
2017, 210p.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.  Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Discussion Guide from the author's website
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image


Memoir
2018, 334p.

Educated by Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
> Find this title on OverDrive
> Discussion Questions from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image
Image
Firekeeper's Daughter


Fiction (YA)
2021, 494p.

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in—both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When her family is struck by tragedy, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother’s hockey team.  After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. How far will she go to protect her community if it means tearing apart the only world she’s ever known?
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from Bookish
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image


Nonfiction
1963, 106p.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, this intensely personal and provocative document in the form of two letters written on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement- and still lights the way to understanding race in America today.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Teacher's Guide with discussion questions from the publisher
   > Suggestion for book clubs: Consider pairing with Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me.
This kit generously funded through a grant from Beyond the Page, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Madison Community Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2016, 370p.

 

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed of--one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the facade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything...and the price seems worth paying. Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won't risk her heart for him. As soon as she's saved enough money from her cooking, she'll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden...
> Find this title on Hoopla
> Discussion questions
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image
Four Winds

Fiction
2021, 454p.

Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains.  The Dust Bowl era has arrived with a vengeance.  In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Discussion questions from author's website
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Fiction
2020, 368p.

The Girls with the Louding Voice by

The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herselfDespite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself - and help other girls like her do the same.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Reading Guide with discussion questions from the Litlovers.com
This kit generously funded through Read Africa, a grant from the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Image

Fiction (YA)
2017, 444p.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

16-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Starr is the only person who knows what actually happened that night, but what she does or does not say could upend her community... and even endanger her life.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Reader's Group Guide from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2020, 342 p.

The Henna Artist by

Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.
Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But while trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

   > Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
   > Book Club guide from Harlequin for Libraries
This kit generously funded through the South Asia in Wisconsin Books Project grant from the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Image

Nonfiction
2016, 346 p.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these women used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War and the women’s rights movement, ‘Hidden Figures’ interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Reading Group Guide from publisher
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2016, 305p.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the sprawling, palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, will be imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi's has written a modern masterpiece, a novel that moves through histories and geographies and captures the troubled spirit of our own nation.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Reading Group Guide from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Fiction
2020, 345p.

Homeland Elegies by

A deeply personal work about hope and identity in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of belonging and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque adventure -- at its heart, it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.
   > Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
   > Discussion questions from publisher
This kit generously funded through the South Asia in Wisconsin Books Project grant from the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Image

Memoir
2019, 192p.

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

A stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears; a portrait of what we all do for one another- and to one another- as we fight to become ourselves.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Reading Group Guide from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image
Image
How the Word is Passed

Nonfiction
2021, 336p.

How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith

Poet and contributor to The Atlantic Clint Smith’s revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks-those that are honest about the past and those that are not-that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation's collective history, and ourselves.
> Find this title on Overdrive
> Discussion questions from Go Big Read UW-Madison
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image


Fiction
2018, 346p.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

It's 1969 in New York, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die so the Gold children sneak out to hear their fortunes. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
   > Find this title on OverDrive
   > Discussion questions from LitLovers.com
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2012, 308p.

January First by Michael Schofield

Diagnosed at age six with one of the most severe cases of child-onset schizophrenia on record, January Schofield hallucinated constantly and the line dividing delerium from reality grew dangerously blurry. This is her father's soul-bearing memoir of the daily challenges and unwavering commitment to save his daughter from the edge of insanity while doing everything he can to keep his family together.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from the publisher

Image
Image
Kindred

Fiction
2003, 287p.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Discussion questions
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image
Image
Last Black Unicorn

Nonfiction
2017, 278p.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

Placed in the foster care system as a teen, and struggling to read at a basic level in ninth grade, Haddish found that humor and jokes helped her endure. When offered a choice between the Laugh Factory comedy camp or counseling to help recover from issues within the foster system, she chose the former and found her calling. In her first book, Haddish recounts her early life straight through to her powerhouse success both on the comedy circuit and in Hollywood with the 2017 film Girls Trip.
>Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.
Image

Fiction
2017, 263p.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Arthur Less is a failed novelist.  A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: his ex- boyfriend is getting married. Arthur can’t accept the invitation--it would all be too awkward--and he can’t say no--it would look like defeat.  On desk are a series of half-baked literary invitations he has received from around the world.  Arthur decides to accept all of them in order to skip town. Thus begins a trip that will take Arthur to Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India and Japan. What could possibly go wrong?
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from PBS
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2008, 285 p.

Life Beyond Measure by Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier reflects on his amazing life in Life Beyond Measure, offering inspirational advice and personal stories in the form of extended letters to his great-granddaughter. Writing for all who admire his example and who search for wisdom only a man of great experience can offer, this American icon shares his thoughts on love, faith, courage, and the future.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Fiction
2017, 338p.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Elena Richardson lives in a Cleveland suburb where everything is planned and people play by the rules. But her family's idyllic life is upended by the arrival of Mia Warren- enigmatic artist and single mother- who creates a stir when another family tries to adopt a Chinese-American baby. A novel that expolores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood, and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from the author's website
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Nonfiction
2017, 326p.

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God.  Three quarters of a century later, author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest - to find the lost city. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to explore, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image
The Lost Man

Fiction
2018, 340p.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Fiction
2014, 276p.

Malice by

Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he's planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems. Malice is one of the bestselling—the most acclaimed—novels in Keigo Higashino's series featuring police detective Kyoichiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the bestselling novelist in Asia.
   > Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction/
Graphic Novel

2013, 121p.
2015, 187p.
2016, 246p.

March written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell

The inside story of the Civil Rights Movement, as told through the eyes of one of its most iconic figures, Congressman John Lewis. This award-winning graphic novel trilogy brings the lessons of history to vivid life, urgently relevant for today's world.
> March is a 3-book series. Book groups may borrow any one or all three of the books, subject to availability.
> Find the books on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Teacher Guides from publisher (can be adapted for adult book clubs)
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.
 

Image

Nonfiction
2014, 309p.

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall

Carol Wall, living in a lily-white neighborhood in Middle America, is at a crossroads in her life: children grown; beloved parents getting older. One day she notices a dark-skinned African man tending her neighbor's yard. His name is Giles Owita. He bags groceries at the supermarket. He comes from Kenya. And he's very good at gardening. Soon Giles is transforming not only Carol's yard, but her heart. Despite their differences, a caring bond grows between them. And both hold secrets that, when revealed, will cement their friendship forever.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from LitLovers

Image


Fiction
2016, 278p.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Set within a contemporary black community in California, this dazzling debut novel follows 17-year-old Nadia Turner, grieving her mother's suicide. She takes up with the local pastor's son, resulting in a pregnancy and subsequent cover-up that will have an impact far beyond their youth. A surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community, and the things that ultimately haunt us the most.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded through a grant from Beyond the Page, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Madison Community Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2019, 466p.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

A smart, thoughtful and timely exploration of two sisters' lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places- and be true to themselves- in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history- and herstory- as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives. Do we change, or does the world change us?
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2020, 377p.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Alexander challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signalled a new era of colorblindness, arguing that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it" -- and examines how the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control. This 10th anniversary edition includes a new preface by Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform today.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from The Advocates for Human Rights.
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image
On Juneteenth

Nonfiction
2021, 148p.

On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed

Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. Combining personal anecdotes with poignant facts gleaned from the annals of American history, Gordon-Reed shows how African-Americans played an integral role in the Texas story.
>Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla

This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.
Image

Fiction
2017, 496p.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant — and that her lover is married — she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.  Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from publisher
This kit generously funded through a grant from The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Image

Nonfiction
2019, 385p.

Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen

Intimate, deeply moving account of the extraordinary teenage survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, who became activists and pushed back against the NRA and Congressional leaders, inspiring millions of Americans to join their grassroots #neveragain movement. An in-depth examination of a pivotal moment in American culture, Parkland explores hope after tragedy and is an inspiring call to action.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from UW-Madison Go Big Read
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Fiction
2008, 372p.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Reader's guide from the publisher's website
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Nonfiction
2018, 330p.

The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum

From Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States.By the end of nineteenth century, food was dangerous. This was not by accident; food manufacturers had rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry, and were knowingly selling harmful products. Then, in 1883, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley was named chief chemist of the agriculture department, and the agency began methodically investigating food and drink fraud, conducting shocking human tests on groups of young men who came to be known as, "The Poison Squad."
> Find this title on OverDrive
> Discussion Questions from UW-Madison Go Big Read.

Image
Image
Project Hail Mary

Science Fiction
2021, 476p.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.  Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.  All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.  His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from BookClubChat
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2020, 751p.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.  Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions and more from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image
Book cover image displaying pianst Mary Lou Williams

Poetry
2019, 80p.

Remember Me: Mary Lou Williams by Fabu

This poetry collection captures the essence of the pianist and strong Black woman, Mary Lou Williams, in a poignant, moving, and expressive way.  This book presents the struggles and triumphs of Mary Lou Williams, and readers can feel the connection between the pianist and poet leap off the page.  The "conversations" between the Poet Fabu and Mary Lou provide a strong historical context of the type of wisdom that generations of Black women have engaged in, in an effort to navigate their way through the social, political, and economic obstacles that have attempted to silence their voices and negate their presence in the world.
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.
Image
Image
Sag Harbor

Fiction
2009, 273p.

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

The year is 1985. Benji Cooper is one of the only black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. After a tragic mishap on his first day of high school his social doom is sealed for the next four years. But every summer, Benji escapes to the Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals has built a world of their own. Because their parents come out only on weekends, he and his friends are left to their own devices for three glorious months. And although he's just as confused about this all-black refuge as he is about the white world he negotiates the rest of the year, he dares to hope that this summer will be different.
>Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla

>Reading Guide from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.
Image
Image
The Seed Keeper

Fiction
2021, 372p.

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson

Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, who tells her stories the origins of the Dakota people. One morning, Ray doesn't return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato where she meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they've inherited.  Many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband's farm, finding solace in her garden. Now, grieving, Rosalie begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation

Image
Send For Me

Fiction
2021, 259p.

Send For Me by Lauren Fox

Annelise works at her parents' popular bakery in Feldenheim, Germany. There are rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, but Annelise and her parents can't quite believe that it will affect them; they're hardly religious at all. But as Annelise falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer. Luckily Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain. Two generations later, Annelise's granddaughter is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of her grandmother's letters from Germany, she sees the history of her family's sacrifices in a new light, and suddenly she's faced with an impossible choice: the past, or her future.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions and more from ReadingGroupGuides
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Fiction
2018, 294p.

She Would Be King by 

Moore’s powerful debut novel reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.
   > Reading Guide with discussion questions from the Litlovers.com
This kit generously funded through Read Africa, a grant from the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Image

Fiction
2017, 289p

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Discussion questions from PBS
This kit generously funded through a grant from Beyond the Page, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Madison Community Foundation.

Image
Image
South to America

Nonfiction
2022, 410p.

South to America by Imani Perry

We all think we know the South. Even those who have never lived there can rattle off a list of signifiers: the Civil War, Gone with the Wind, the Ku Klux Klan, plantations, football, Jim Crow, slavery. But the idiosyncrasies, dispositions, and habits of the region are stranger and more complex than much of the country tends to acknowledge. In South to America, Imani Perry shows that the meaning of American is inextricably linked with the South, and that our understanding of its history and culture is the key to understanding the nation as a whole.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image


Nonfiction
2018, 248p.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from publisher
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2018, 369p.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

From one of the most provocative storytellers of our time, a timely and harrowing novel about a hostage situation at a women's reproductive health services center and the people caught up in it. Among them, a doctor and nurse, a pro-life protester disguised as a patient, the gunman, and the police hostage negotiator who learns that his teenage daughter is among those in the center.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions and more from the author's website
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image
State of Terror

Fiction
2021, 494p.

State of Terror by Hilary Rodham Clinton, Louise Penny

Alix Chamberlain is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is accused by a store's security guard- seeing a young black woman out late with a white child- of kidnapping. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right, but Emira is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. Both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
>Discussion Questions from Bookclubchat
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Fiction
2019, 310p.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2021, 415p.

The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee

Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?  McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Guide
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Fiction
2017, 371p.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

In a remote mountain village where life revolves around the seasons and the farming of tea, a stranger in a jeep marks the arrival of the modern world, and Li-yan begins to reject generations-old customs. She leaves a baby born out of wedlock at an orphanage, and leaves her insular village for an education and city life. Her daughter is raised by loving adoptive parents in California. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu'er, the tea that has shaped their family's destiny for centuries. A powerful story about circumstances, culture, distance and the bond of family.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from author website
This kit generously funded through a grant from The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

 
Image

Fiction
2019, 374p.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, young January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As a ward of wealthy Mr. Locke in the early 1900s, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book, one that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from Modern Mrs. Darcy
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Fiction
2011, 337p.

The Tiger's Wife by

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.
> Find this title on OverDrive
> Discussion Questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Fiction
2020, 261p.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.  But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from the publisher
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

 
Image

Fiction
1943, 498p.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century. Francie Nolan is growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn. With an alcoholic father and an aunt with frequent marriages, no one- least of all Francie- could say that the Nolans' life lacks drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking and uplifting, the Nolans' daily experiences are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness.
> Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
> Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2020, 244p.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

In Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, Acho takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, many white Americans are afraid to ask—yet which all Americans need the answers to, now more than ever. With the same open-hearted generosity that has made his video series a phenomenon, Acho explains the vital core of such fraught concepts as white privilege, cultural appropriation, and “reverse racism.”
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from ReadingGroupGuides
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image


Nonfiction
2019, 350p.

The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee-camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement.
   > Find this title on OverDrive or Hoopla
   > Discussion questions from Hoopla
This kit generously funded through a grant from Beyond the Page, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Madison Community Foundation.

Image

Fiction
2019, 403p.

The Water Dancer by Ta'Nehisi Coates

Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.  This journey takes Hiram from Virginia’s plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously movements in the North. Throughout it all, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.
> Find this title on Overdrive
> Discussion questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

 

Image

Fiction
2020, 366p.

We Ride Upon Sticks by Barry Quan

Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts (which in 1692 was Salem Village, site of the origins of the Salem Witch Trials), the story follows the Danvers High field hockey team as they discover that the dark impulses of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season. The 1989 Danvers Falcons are on an unaccountable winning streak.  Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond "Claw" sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flaunting society's stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from AllArts.org

Image
Image

Fiction
2018, 370p.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. In late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist, she takes life lessons from the land. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image


Nonfiction
2018, 169p.

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from LitLovers
This kit generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

Image

Nonfiction
2003, 453p.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? How can we get past our reluctance to discuss racial issues?  Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about communicating across racial and ethnic divides and pursuing antiracism. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand dynamics of race and racial inequality in America.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Discussion questions from author website
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.

Image

Nonfiction
2021, 215p.

You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

Writer and talk show host Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where everyone is, as she puts it, "stark raving normal." But her sister, Lacey, still lives in their home state of Nebraska, where she encounters racist donut shops and strangers putting their hand in her hair, mistaking her for a prostitute and for Harriet Tubman. Lacey is the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think "I can say whatever I want to this woman." Amber and Lacey’s entertainingly horrifying stories- painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening- tackle modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity.
> Find this title on Overdrive or Hoopla
> Reading Group Guide from publisher
This kit generously funded by the Library Foundation.