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Book Club – December

For Mentors

The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle

By: Joanne Huist Smith

For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas story about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family’s history into a time of strength and love.

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children–especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

For Ages 13-17

The Afterlife of Holly Chase 

by Cynthia Hand  

Before I Fall meets “bah, humbug” in this contemporary YA reimagining of A Christmas Carol from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything…

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a witty, poignant, and insightful novel about life, love, and seizing second (or third) chances, perfect for readers who loved Before I Fall or Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.

For Ages 9-12

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

By: Matt Haig

 “If somewhere in the afterlife Roald Dahl met Charles Dickens and they cooked up a new Christmas tale, it couldn’t have much on this fleet, verbally rambunctious, heart-stealing follow-up to A Boy Called Christmas.”– The New York Times

Fans of A Boy Called Christmas will rejoice at this whimsical story of the first child to ever be gifted a Christmas present!

Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.

When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away.

Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .

“Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.” –Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

“With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice,this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum.” —Kirkus Reviews

For Ages 6-8

Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light

by Apryl Stott 

A little girl and her friend Bear learn the true meaning of selfless kindness in this sweet, stunningly illustrated debut picture book.

Bear is sad. All the other animals think he’s mean because he’s so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him. Coco shares her grandmother’s advice: “When life gets dark as winter’s night, share some kindness, bring some light.”

They decide to bake cookies to “share some kindness” and make lanterns to “bring some light.” But when the cookies and lanterns don’t work, they must look for another way to win over the other animals. And while they’re at it, Coco and Bear just might discover that kindness is a gift that only comes from the heart.

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Book Club – November

For Mentors

Everything Is Figureoutable: Forleo, Marie: 9780525534990: Amazon.com: BooksEverything Is Figureoutable 

By Marie Forleo

From the host of the award-winning MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast, an indispensable handbook for becoming the creative force of your own life.

While most self-help books offer quick fixes, Everything is Figureoutable will retrain your brain to think more creatively and positively in the face of setbacks. In the words of Cheryl Strayed, it’s “a must-read for anyone who wants to face their fears, fulfill their dreams, and find a better way forward.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

If you’re having trouble solving a problem or reaching a dream, the problem isn’t you. It’s that you haven’t yet installed the one belief that changes everything.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Marie’s mom once told her, “Nothing in life is that complicated. You can do whatever you set your mind to if you roll up your sleeves. Everything is figureoutable.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Whether you want to leave a dead end job, break an addiction, learn to dance, heal a relationship, or grow a business, Everything is Figureoutable will show you how.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You’ll learn:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • The habit that makes it 42 percent more likely you’ll achieve your goals.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • How to overcome a lack of time and money.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • How to deal with criticism and imposter syndrome.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • It’s more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a philosophy of relentless optimism. A mindset. A mantra. A conviction.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Most important, it’s about to make you unstoppable. ⠀

For Ages: 13-17

Amazon.com: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, 1)  (9781250170972): Adeyemi, Tomi: BooksChildren of Blood and Bone 

By Tomi Adeyemi

The Children of Blood and Bone is told from multiple points of view, as Inan and Amari, children of the iron-fisted king, and Zélie and Tzain, siblings who have suffered greatly under the king’s regime, find themselves on a dark, magic-filled quest for power. Their journey is accompanied by violence and betrayal, but friendship and even star-crossed love also play a part. Enriched with themes that resonate in today’s social and political landscape, The Children of Blood and Bone takes on injustice, discrimination, and a struggle for change. The action and danger ramp up with each chapter, and I found myself racing through the final pages, holding my breath right up to the cliffhanger ending. ⠀

For Ages: 9-12

Notorious RBG Young Readers' Edition: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader  Ginsburg: Carmon, Irin, Knizhnik, Shana: 9780062748539: Amazon.com: BooksNotorious RBG 

By Irin Carmon
& Shana Knizhnik

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she has only tried to make the world a little better and a little freer.

But nearly a half-century into her career, something funny happened to the octogenarian: she won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg first made her name as a feminist pioneer are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute.

Notorious RBG, inspired by the Tumblr that amused the Justice herself and brought to you by its founder and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg’s family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself. An original hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, rare archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcends generational divides. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah. 

For Ages: 6-8

Thanksgiving for Emily Ann: Johnston, Teresa, Brantley-Newton, Vanessa:  9780545434133: Amazon.com: BooksThanksgiving for Emily Ann 

By Teresa Johnson, Illustrated By Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Emily Ann isn’t the biggest fan of Thanksgiving. She’s saddled with a bunch of extra chores, and everyone’s too busy prepping dinner to spend any time with her. It’s the perfect recipe for feeling lonely and sad — can anyone blame her for acting out a little? Luckily, Thanksgiving for Emily Ann turns out much better than she could have hoped. Looks like her family didn’t forget about her after all! 




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Book Club – October

This October, we’re sharing our latest reading recommendations from our Big Sisters and Staff. We invite you to join us in reading about strong powerful women working together, CEO’s, creatives, and historical leaders in the pages of our October Book Club picks. 

For Mentors

Big MagicBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert 

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.
 
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.

Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

For Ages 13-17

Girl SquadsGirl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History

By: Sam Maggs

Spanning art, science, politics, activism, and even sports, these girl squads show just how essential female friendship has been throughout history and throughout the world! In this hilarious and heartfelt book, geek girl Sam Maggs takes you on a tour of some of history’s most famous female BFFs, including Anne Bonny and Mary Read, the infamous lady pirates; Jeanne Manon Roland and Sophie Grandchamp, Parisian socialites who landed front-row seats (from prison) to the French Revolution; Sharon and Shirley Firth, the First Nations twin sisters and Olympic skiiers; The Edinburgh Seven, the first women admitted to medical school in the United Kingdom; and The Zohra Orchestra, Afghanistan’s first all-female musical group

Fun, feisty, and delightful to read — with empowering illustrations by artist Jenn Woodall — it’s the perfect gift for your best friend

For Ages 9-12

Run the Show Like CEO Oprah WinfreyRun The Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey

By: Caroline Moss

When Oprah Winfrey was a little girl, she watched her grandma hang clothes out on the line. Oprah adored her grandma, but she knew in that moment her life was going to be different… And she was right. In this imaginatively illustrated book, discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

Work It, Girl is an empowering series of biographies featuring modern women in the world of work, from designers and musicians to CEOs and scientists. Brightly colored photo illustrations of 3-D cut paper artwork featuring inspiring quotes from these amazing women bring their stories to vivid life. Learn how to work it as you lay the foundations for your own successful career.

For Ages 6-8

Susan B. AnthonySusan B. Anthony

By: Alexandra Wallner

During Susan B. Anthony’s life, women and men were not considered equal. Women could not own property or vote; nor could they receive good educations. But Susan envisioned a time when women would be treated fairly and so became a voice for change. Her speeches and articles about women’s suffrage made her unpopular — people threw rotten eggs at her and even threatened her life — yet she did not give up.

In clear and simple words and jewel-like paintings, here is the essential story of the woman whose passion for justice led to the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

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Resource List for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)

We have curated a list of helpful resources on diversity, equity and inclusion and access and we are always adding more. Would you like us to list your resources as well? Please contact us at info@girlsrisingsd.org

Social Media

The Conscious Kid Instagram

Rachel Cargle (Linktree has multiple resources and her 30 day program.)

Minaa B. LMSW

Online Resources

Catalyst

https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-minorities-corporate-boards/

https://www.catalyst.org/research/8-actions-to-diversify-your-board/

https://www.catalyst.org/research/why-diversity-and-inclusion-matter/

https://www.catalyst.org/topics/board-diversity/

Director Point

https://landing.directorpoint.com/general-board-topics/benefits-diversity-boardroom/

Council of Nonprofits

https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/diversity-nonprofit-boards

https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/thought-leadership/10-steps-more-diverse-board 

Loveland Foundation

https://thelovelandfoundation.org/ (great therapy/mental health resources)

Three Conversations of BLM and Mental Health: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgoM3j84dx90Xzt_F3ffsfqEZVR2ihguc&mc_cid=5726b4fc9f&mc_eid=d139e3f955

Understanding implicit bias: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/research/understanding-implicit-bias/

Harvard Implicit Bias test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Ijeoma Oluo: http://www.ijeomaoluo.com/

Video: “Radical Self Care” Interview with Angela Davis

Mental health courses: https://www.minaab.com/courses

BLM Healing Action: https://blacklivesmatter.com/wpcontent/uploads/2018/01/BLM_HealingAction_r1.pdf

Book List

  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  • How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock 
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • This Bridge Called My Back by Radical Women of Colorby Cherríe Moraga
  • When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson

Resources to Raise Anti-Racist Children 

Books:

Podcasts:

Articles:

News

Commentary: A call to action for the nonprofit sector

By NANCY MALDONADO

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of personal reflection and introspective thinking around racism and inequality through several different lenses — as a woman of color, as a mother, as the daughter of immigrant parents and as a nonprofit leader. Read more…

 

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Book Club – September

Just in time for back to school, we’re sharing our latest reading recommendations from our Big Sisters and Staff. We invite you to join us in reading about strong powerful women, inventors, trailblazers and student leaders in the pages of our September Book Club picks. 

For Mentors

The Moment of LiftThe Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

by Melinda Gates

“How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book―to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention―from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world―and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

For Ages 13-17

Girls Think of Everything

Girls Think of Everything – Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

By Catherine Thimmesh

In kitchens and living rooms, in garages and labs and basements, even in converted chicken coops, women and girls have invented ingenious innovations that have made our lives simpler and better. Their creations are some of the most enduring (the windshield wiper) and best loved (the chocolate chip cookie). What inspired these women, and just how did they turn their ideas into realities? This updated and expanded 2018 edition includes even more inventors and their inventions that reflect our diverse and technological world.

“An outstanding collective biography of women and girls who changed the world with their inventions. Thimmesh surveys unique and creative ideas that were both borne of necessity or were simply a product of ingenuity and hard work.” – School Library Journal

For Ages 9-12

Teen TrailblazersTeen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

By Jennifer Calvert

Joan of Arc. Anne Frank. Cleopatra. Pocahontas. Mary Shelley. Many of these heroines are well-known. But have you heard of Sybil Ludington, a 16-year-old daughter of an American colonel who rode twice as far as the far better-remembered Paul Revere to warn the militia that the British army was invading? From authors to activists, painters to politicians, inventors to icons, these inspiring teenagers are proof that girls can change the world.

This fascinating book, Teen Trailblazers, features 30 young women who accomplished remarkable things before their twentieth birthdays. Visually compelling with original illustrations, this book will inspire the next generation of strong, fearless women.

For Ages 6-8

Grace for PresidentGrace for President

By Kelly DiPucchio

When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the “best man for the job” — and seems to have captured all the male votes — while Grace concentrates on being the best person.

In this timely story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought — and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.

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