Celebrating National Book Lovers Day

Updated: Aug 7

Equality and Justice books


A Harvest of Thorns - By Corban Addison

Based on a true story, ‘A harvest of thorns’ tells the horrific story of a fire breaking out in a Bangladeshi factory, and the journeys taken by different characters to fight for justice and change in how American retailers source their products. It is one of those books that makes you think twice about how you live your life, and how your choices can massively affect the life of someone across the globe without you even knowing. It also highlights the corruption in the fast fashion industry and how we as consumers have the power to demand for more transparency from firms. The characters are very endearing and Addison perfectly curates each one so that as a reader, you are naturally rooting for them to succeed. The book was engaging from start to finish and I would highly recommend it. 

Themes:


Unjust employment, Modern-Day Slavery, Labor Rights, Corruption, Journalism, Fashion Industry.

Quotes:


“I don’t know who took it, but it’s going to go viral. The whole world is going to see it.”

“We have a solid foundation, and consumers have a short memory.”



Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe – By Benjamin Alire Saenz


Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seemed to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship -- the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.









Themes:


Friendship, Sexuality, Identity, Race, Masculinity, Family, Art, Mental Health Issues, Power, Politics.


Quotes:


“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand.”


“Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”


“I hated being volunteered. The problem with my life was that it was someone else's idea.”

Purple Hibiscus – By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world is circumscribed by the high walls and frangipani trees of her family compound. Her wealthy Catholic father, under whose shadow Kambili lives, while generous and politically active in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home. When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili’s father sends her and her brother away to stay with their aunt, a University professor, whose house is noisy and full of laughter. There, Kambili and her brother discover a life and love beyond the confines of their father’s authority.





Themes:


Faith, Power, Family, Duty, Love, Coming of Age, Sacrifice, Betrayal.

Quotes:


“We did that often, asking each other questions whose answers we already knew. Perhaps it was so that we would not ask the other questions, the ones whose answers we did not want to know.”


“People have crushes on priests all the time, you know. It’s exciting to have to deal with God as a rival.”


“There are people, she once wrote, who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time.”

1984 – By George Orwell


Although the style of writing in the book was quite complex, the plot was very gripping and made me think a lot about the way our society runs. The way that Orwell constructed the world in the book made the possibility of a totalitarian superstate being created very real. Down to the societal heirarchy and the invasive telescreens, Orwell was able to create a realistic world which should shock and terrify you, but that should also make you question whether society does have elements of this dystopian world hidden in our so called “democracy”. A must read!






Themes:


Dictatorship, Tyranny, Power, Individualism, Freedom, Security, Morality.

Quotes:


“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”


“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.


“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”

Brave New World – By Aldous Huxley


Perfect to read in succession of 1984, Brave new world is an equally disturbing tale of a totalitarian society. However, the society that Huxley created can either be seen as a dystopia or a utopia - which is quite unique for a book of its kind. Some readers may view the world as perfect: there are no diseases, no ageing, and everyone is always happy (though this is mostly due to a drug called ‘soma’). Others may view the world as completely unnatural, and a communist regime that has gone too far. Whichever one you decide it is, the book is definitely bound to shock you, and make you question how far we are from a society like Huxley's.





Themes:


Limits of Science, Human Development, Happiness, Freedom, Security, Relationships, Impulse.

Quotes:

“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”


“...reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays....”


“There was a thing called Heaven; but all the same they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol.”



Our FYV Youth Commissioners are Emily Harris, Marion Simakungwe, Rachel Roach and Eugene Vlas

If you like the sound of any of the book recommendations from our FYV Youth Commissioners you can also enjoy many of these by listening to them on Audible.

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