PositiveBooklist... humorous ... moving and amusing ... [Tucker\'s] conclusion—that maternal instinct indeed exists—comes with a warning: it is neither joyfully innate nor a magical enlightenment, but rather a volatile transmogrification, a sort of birth a woman herself undergoes ... Using clever, colorful, figurative language and a warm, conversational tone, Tucker documents the complex challenges women who become mothers face. Readers might come in to learn what baby cuddles do to the brain, be tempted to leave over the poop talk and placenta eating, but ultimately stay for the acknowledgment Tucker gives to the unique experience of motherhood.
PositiveBooklistTheir powerful narratives, framed by excellent use of statistics contextualizing the human rights issues at stake, span an exodus from genocidal countries to an American federal court. Napolitano uses just enough of the case’s legal issues and proceedings to create an accessible courtroom drama. Ultimately, Khadidjah and Mahamed’s story becomes an indictment of educational inequities and injustices experienced by schoolchildren in America: underfunded schools, outsourcing to private entities to save money, unequal access to high-quality instructional programs, lack of specialists, culturally unresponsive climates, subjective admission criteria, physical discipline of students, and, most damagingly, a system more concerned with state-reported graduation numbers than student learning. Napolitano’s book should be the next step for people horrified by the plight of refugees, undocumented people, and unaccompanied minors.
Reuben Jonathan Miller
RaveBooklistInterweaving personal memoir and qualitative data in narrative form, sociology professor Miller’s Halfway Home is reminiscent of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (2010) in its exploration of the \'supervised society\' and \'carceral citizenship\' of mass incarceration that systematically prevent former prisoners from participating in society ... Miller’s experiences with finding a home for his formerly incarcerated brother show how people enter a post-prison life precariously dependent on the whims of parole officers or favors from strangers. Thus, Miller arrives at his ultimate plea for \'radical politics of community and hospitality that would take us far beyond the limits of a moral calculus based on public safety or fear of retribution.\'