20 Years Later: Books to Commemorate September 11

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. I have hard time believing that it happened two decades ago, when on bright sunny morning, a city and a world were changed forever. Today brings sadness and pain but like a phoenix, the world rised out of the ashes and continue to rebuild through strength, hope and unity. And although we still are dealing with the aftermath of 9/11, what we have felt and learned from that day will remain.

There are so many stories out there that reflect the events and the aftermath of 9/11. To keep the memory of that day alive, it is important to read the powerful historical accounts and inspirational stories of that horrid day. For the 20 years, here are 20 book recommendations that help commemorate September 11 and make us remember to never forget:

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Books to Help Celebrate Disability Pride All Year Long

Most people don’t know, but the month of July marks the celebration of Disability Pride Month. Most organizations picked this month for the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, a law that promises that people with disabilities not be discriminated against in any setting.

Although it is not nationally recognized, it is essential to celebrate and embrace the fact that people with disabilities can do anything. They are not defined by their disability but have embraced it, and hearing those types of stories encourages readers of all abilities. The way to promote disability justice and prevent ableism is to exemplify these voices, and the perfect way to do that is through reading!

Although July is ending, this is something we should be doing every day. So here are some great reading recommendations that will help you display your disability pride all year long:

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Best Books of 2021 So Far: Picture Books

Welcome to another round of the Best Books of the Year so Far, where halfway through the year, I name the titles I read that I feel are the best of 2021. This year, I am switching things up a bit. Instead of listing all the best books I read in one post, I will be breaking them up by genre! So every Tuesday until mid-August, catch my favorite reads of 2021 that will make you want to rush over to your list and add to your ever-growing TBR pile!

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Winners of the 2021 Waterstone Children’s Book Prize

The UK bookseller, Waterstones, has just announced the 2021 winners of their Children’s Book Prize. This award, which is chosen by Waterstones’ booksellers, honors emerging writers of exceptional talent and are blooming in the children’s writing industry.

Here are the winners:

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Lambda Literary Awards 2021: Children and YA Winners

My friend and fellow librarian extraordinaire, Whitney Davidson-Rhodes had the opportunity to be on the judging panel for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award season. Lambda Literary Award gives recognition and promotion to LGBTQ books and authors and every year they award the best of the best. To see the full list of the 2021 winners, check them out here.

But for this post I asked Whitney, out of all the books she read, to list her favorite ones. And no surprise, these are also my personal favorites. So let’s get the book recommendations going:

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Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Shortlist 2021

Here is the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlist for 2021. This annual prize’s shortlist is always chosen by Waterstones’ booksellers and strives to commit to championing the best and newest talent in children’s writing and illustration today. Make sure to check back to see the winner of this prize!

Now here are the nominees:

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Books to Read This Month: May Edition

May is another one of my favorite months. Not only the weather starts turning into that comfortable weather that makes it ideal for walks and sitting in the park. But May is also a great time to start making your reading list for the summer! May always has a great selection of new releases that are perfect for “summer reading” and May 2021 is no different from any other. From World War II stories to time travel middle grade fiction, here are some great new releases that will get you excited for the hot weather:

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Asian & Asian American Voices: Great Reads to Celebrate the Heritage

Reading about different cultures other than our own is a great way to not only educate ourselves but creates empathy and understanding in our daily lives. Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is honored in May and Asian & Asian American voices are always important to highlight but it is needed now more than ever due to discrimination and racism that is targeted towards this ethnicity recently.

So #StandUpForAAPI by learning in the best possible way…through amazing reads that highlight powerful Asian voices and I picked some great books that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages (but I also made sure to divide it to three different age groups). Start loving one another by learning about one another:

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Celebrating Ramadan: Own Voices Books for This Religious Holiday

Ramadan, the holy ninth of the Islamic calendar, began this week and Muslims around the world will observe with charitable deeds, daily fasting and special prayers. There ‘s not much I know about this religious holiday and or about Muslim/Islamic culture altogether. But I am trying to educate myself by reading about books so I can have a better understanding without making assumptions.

If you are looking to go a similar route, I have listed some great book recommendations that are great conversation starters for you and your family to have together, whether you observe the holiday or not. The first step towards the fight against racism and prejudice is empathy and understanding and reading these books are a great start:

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