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Fall-Winter Book Gifting 2021

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

I've been really leaning into the gifts of mid-fall. The chill in the air, the desire to wrap up in a blanket and read, the slowing down. The way the sun here is so sharp when it appears and how soft the gray sky is most days. The rhythm of rain drops. The squirrels we have gotten to know as they bury and dig up nuts in our garden beds. The soft layer of leaves. The composting of the summer garden.

And I've also been enjoying giving gifts when I can, aligning my gifting with our values, and welcoming friends into a conversation sparked by books. As part of this, I've put together a little book themed gift guide featuring two illustrated kiddos drawn by my son Quincy. These kids are also featured on our newest mugs -- that's what we do in homeschool, folx! lol. And the rest of the book themed collections are really all about honoring a lineage of story through books and other adornments. We hope you enjoy and check out some of the beautiful artists and authors who are dear to us...


What goes well with a Reading Is Resistance reading guide, a friend, and a good book? A cup of your favorite tea, hot cocoa, or coffee in our new Reading Is Resistance mug. Illustrated by Quincy Newton, our readers for the resistance will accompany you on your beverage adventures.


When I first opened this beautiful new release from Yuyi Morales, I was immediately taken. Bright Star holds within it a tender desert journey and learning around belonging and migration. We think this collection has the same tenderness, softness, and depth of heart. Purchase information here:


We've been reading and following the 1619 project from its first publication. And while I am still eagerly awaiting our copy of this newest book Born on the Water and have not yet held it in my hands, I have been reading everything about its impending release (mid-November) and have no doubt of the profound power, joy, truth, responsibility, and honoring that this book will bring to all of its readers. Purchase information here:


I first watched Dene artist and bioethicist Lisa Boivin's TedX Talk in 2016 and was immediately taken. Her recently published picture book We Dream Medicine Dreams is a touching work about connecting with our ancestors, death, and dreams. It is healing, connecting, and abundant. And we think this collection would be a beautiful gift to self or others! Purchase information here:


Confession: I read anything illustrated or written by Innosanto Nagara (who you may know from the board book A is for Activist). When I picked up Together (written by Mona Damluji and illustrated by Nagara), I had no idea how moved I'd be and how much I needed this story in my life and in my teaching. While so many "social justice" books focus on amazing acts by individuals, this book focuses on the power and awesomeness of community and how we make movement happen together. This immediately reminded me of some of the ideas from adrienne maree brown, connectivity to nature, and so much more that had my brain buzzing in the most positive ways! Purchase information here:


If you've ever asked me for a middle reader book recommendation, you've heard me sing the praises of the poignant, loving, insightful storytelling of Tanya Guerrero. Her book How to Make Friends with the Sea is one of my all-time favorites, and All You Knead Is Love (her most recent publication) is quickly becoming another of my most recommended reads. It's about baking, chosen family, and being true to one's multi-faceted identities. It contains recipes for self love that I think a lot of us could use right now! Purchase information here:


If you don't know about the Harper Collins imprint Heartdrum, curated by Cynthia Lietich Smith, you are in for a treat with all of their beautiful Indigenous-authored books for kids. Sisters of the Neversea, a middle reader book that came out this year, is enchanting. And it asks all of the important questions about the problematic stereotypes found in Peter Pan and across so many children's "classics." Magical. If you have a YA reader in your life (or if you ARE the YA reader in your life), you'll also love Lost in the Never Woods (by Aiden Thomas of Cemetery Boys fame), another Peter Pan-inspired story filled with mystery and more magic. Purchase information here:


Another 2021 middle reader book from Heartdrum that has been a favorite read aloud at our house is Healer of the Water Monster by Brian Young. Set on the Navajo reservation, it's a story of healing, family, and an adventure that readers will never forget. The cover illustrator Shonto Begay also illustrated a water-focused picture book called The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation. We think this book pairing is really meaningful and ignites conversations about working together, climate crisis, and more. Purchase information here:


A book pairing we're really loving right now is the middle reader Playing the Cards You're Dealt by the wonderful Varian Johnson and Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood. Grappling with masculinity, love, family, and identity, these books celebrate, uplift, get us talking...and playing cards :) Purchase information here:

Every time you buy a book from the Reading Is Resistance BookShop, you sustain our work. And we hope these gift collections get your imaginations flowing and introduce you to some wonderful makers in our communities as well.For additional book picks, check out our curated lists at our BookShop. And send us pictures of you with your books!

With love to all of you in our community,

Zapoura and the Reading Is Resistance Team


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