August Books Picks

Book cover with a black and white photograph of an old man against a dark background. In the corner is a sepia tone image of trees.

*This curated collection was created by Garima Shah (she/her, Junior) and Elizabeth Whimore (she/her, Sophomore), two Student Library Engagement Ambassadors at the University of Michigan

More about Garima: Hello! I am a rising junior studying Computer Science. I have a passion for reading and encouraging others to read as well. I can’t wait to showcase all the amazing resources, staff, and faculty the University of Michigan libraries have.

In my free time I enjoy dancing, baking, and traveling. 

More about Elizabeth: Hi! I am a rising sophomore studying BCN (Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience) and RC Drama. I really enjoy encouraging students, faculty, and staff to access the resources and events at the University of Michigan libraries that are readily available for everyone! Summer 2022 I have the opportunity to help promote and add to our growing collection. When I have free time, I enjoy reading (makes sense), painting, and spending time with family and friends.

Happy August! It’s that time of year– back to school. While starting or resuming school can lead to feelings from being worried to being excited, it’s a phase of change for everyone involved. We want to recommend books that have characters that are also going through huge changes and having their coming of age moments. While you read and cheer them on, make sure you cheer yourself on and care for your wellness as you are transitioning. We wish you a fantastic school year– Go Blue!

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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara or “X” is a girl bursting from the seams with thoughts and ideas to say. Mami wants Xiomara to be obedient, go to church– be that good girl. Being silent and complicit is not Xiomara’s style, but as she feels unheard, she lets her fighting do the talking. When she isn’t fighting, Xiomara pours her heart and soul into a loved notebook. As she is invited to a poetry slam, Xiomara wrestles with the pull of sharing herself through poetry and her mami’s abhorrence to the idea. But when the world doesn’t want to hear you, why give it the satisfaction?

 

The Giver by Lois Lowry

In this dystopian society, everyone has a purpose. Everyone follows the rules. Everyone is content, or so they seem. When twelve-year-old Jonas receives his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory, he sees and feels things he’s never experienced before. Things that he felt were incomplete prior to his training are now whole. However, with new-found knowledge, Jonas is disillusioned by the community and realizes that there is no turning back. And only he can do something about it.

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

 Meg Murry’s father has been missing for ages. To think of it is painful, but she doesn’t want to lose hope. Watching over her little brother Charles Wallace gives Meg purpose, but when Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her friend Calvin O’Keefe to his witchy friends, Meg realizes her continuous hope may not have been in vain after all. As the search for her father resumes, Meg, Charles, and Calvin must keep their wits about them. Because you never know if the unknowns of the universe will betray you.

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Ari and Dante are opposites. Ari stutters, struggles with confidence, and is burdened with the fact that his brother is in prison. Dante is articulate, focuses on the arts, and is open to the world and what it will deliver. Plus Dante can swim. Despite obvious differences, Ari and Dante create an inseparable bond that leads them to learn about the truth about themselves and the universe. However, the two of them will need to put up a fight against all stumbling blocks if they want to stay and grow stronger together.