From Gina Scaglione
Author: Emma Donoghue
Room is the story of a woman stolen off the streets and trapped in a room for seven years. It is told through the eyes of her five-year-old son, the product of her captor. It is a very well-written, extremely intriguing novel. I highly recommend it.
From Andrea Payne
author: Kerman, Piper
Orange Is The New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison
This is unlike any ‘prison’ story you’ve ever come across. Piper Kerman writes about and accepts responsibility for a drug trafficking crime she committed in her youth. Ten years later, the feds come knocking and the Smith College graduate is placed in the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Danbury, CT. This book chronicles some of the experiences that led to Piper’s incarceration; the life she began to build with her fiance before being indicted and sent to prison; and the relationships she builds in prison, while still somehow maintaining her relationship with her fiance, family and friends on the ‘outside.’ Some moments are very funny, others are deeply moving and thought provoking. This was an enjoyable and very unique read.
From Rita Gross
author: Moore, Wes
The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates
The author was born in Baltimore, just blocks away from another young man with the same name. They share many of the same experiences and life situations, growing up without fathers in a time of rampant drug violence. The author became a Rhodes Scholar, served in the United States Armed Forces, was White House Fellow and today is a prominent businessman. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and murder.
These men’s stories are told in parallel narratives, showing us step by step the paths their lives followed. What were the defining moments that led to the divergence? What were the choices that led to their ultimate fates? Who in their lives influenced their behavior? What role does one’s environment play? This book describes the lives of a generation of young, urban Black teenagers and raises many questions about the choices we make early in life and their ultimate outcomes.