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Call Number: 302 NEW
Publication Date: 2015-06-02
2016 NAACP Image Award Winner Winner of the 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a human zoo exhibit--a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, and Medical Apartheid. In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese "pygmy"--a person of petite stature--arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga's captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pamela Newkirk traces Ota's tragic life, from Africa to St. Louis to New York, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life. Illuminating this unimaginable event, Spectacle charts the evolution of science and race relations in New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, exploring this racially fraught era for Africa-Americans and the rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn they endured, forty years after the end of the Civil War. Shocking and compelling Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today.
Recommended by Mr Hoiseth: "Great for Grade 8 who enjoy History."
More Great Fiction
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by
Publication Date: 2012
There's nothing unusual about the Brockets. Normal, respectable, and proud of it, they turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it's clear he's anything but ordinary. To his parents’ horror, Barnaby defies the laws of gravity - and floats. Desperate to please his parents, Barnaby does his best to keep both feet on the ground – but he just can't do it. One fateful day, the Brockets decide enough is enough. They never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. Barnaby has to go . . . Betrayed, frightened and alone, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon – and so begins a magical journey around the world, with a cast of extraordinary new friends.
Recommended by Mrs Robertson: "Kids who want an easy read would enjoy this book, and appreciate a few laughs and smiles while reading."
Call Number: F MEY
Publication Date: 2012-01-03
The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series! Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
Recommended by Mrs Franks: "This series is full of action and adventure. It's an interesting take on what the future of earth could look like and how power dynamics could change as technology advances. At first, I thought the incorporation of familiar fairytale characters (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White) would be cheesy, but it wasn't! If you like fantasy, the future, courageous characters, political relations, and social equality, you'll love this series!"
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by
Call Number: F KON
Publication Date: 1970-11-01
When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in Claudia appreciation. And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because be was a miser and would have money. Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie bad some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different; and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she had discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too. The former owner of the statue was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Without her-well, without her, Claudia might never have found a way to go home.
Recommended by Mrs Robertson: "Very fun and interesting read, well paced and realistic interaction between siblings. Easy to read because it was well written and not a complex story."
Award Winning Fiction
A Confederacy of Dunces by
Call Number: F TOO
Publication Date: 1994-01-21
Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.") But Ignatius's quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso--who mistakes him for a vagrant--and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.
Recommended by Mrs Olsen: "This is a fairly intellectual book, probably best appreciated by advanced readers. It seems to be an indictment on modern life and the pursuit of money and meaning. Sadly, the author Toole committed suicide, but was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1981."