Emma Snyder, owner of The Ivy Bookshop at 11 E 33rd Street, Baltimore, offers recommendations for must-read titles for adults and children.


These Ghosts Are Family

“These Ghosts are Family” (Hardcover)
By Maisy Card, Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, $26

A “rich, ambitious debut novel” (The New York Times Book Review) that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi.

“A Lucky Man: Stories” (Paperback)
By Jamel Brinkley, Graywolf Press, 256 pages, $16

Jamel Brinkley’s stories reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class, where luck may be the greatest fiction of all.


The Fire This Time

“The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race” (Paperback)
Ed. by Jesmyn Ward, Scribner, 240 pages, $16

This 2016 essay collection references James Baldwin’s 1963 book “The Fire Next Time” in its title and spirit. Including essays from Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, and Claudia Rankine, among others, it introduces an extraordinary wealth of intellectual and artistic traditions.

The End of Policing

“The End of Policing” (Paperback)
By Alex S. Vitale, Verso, 272 pages, $17.95

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. Drawing on groundbreaking research, it shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice, even public safety.


Skin Again

“Skin Again” (Board Book)
By bell hooks, illustrated by Chris Raschka, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 40 pages, $12.99

Celebrating all that makes us unique and different, “Skin Again” offers new ways to talk about race and identity with children. This award-winning book, introduces a strong message of loving yourself and others. For ages 4-8

Young Adult

One Crazy Summer

“One Crazy Summer” (Paperback)
By Rita Williams-Garcia, Quill Tree Books, 240 pages, $7.99

In this Newbery Honor novel, Rita Williams- Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, Calif. in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves. For ages 8-12