#READdifferent #READinthenews

Aug 10, 2015

#READdifferent #READinthenews

So you’ve heard all about the #READdifferent campaign but you’re not sure where to start on your journey of literary exploration and discovery. We’re here to help! Each week we will be featuring a new theme or genre that you can use to #READdifferent at the 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival.


Everyone knows staying abreast current events is important. These 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival authors, however, took it one step further—they wrote complete books about recent news topics, some experienced firsthand, and now come to DBF with their stories. Here are some ways that you can #READdifferent this year by delving into the news!

In Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, Kelly Brown Douglas examines the “stand-your-ground” rule in America and its cultural significance, specifically in light of the Travyon Martin shooting case, in which his killer was set free. Douglas also approaches this topic from the viewpoint of a mother who has a son who “does look like Trayvon,” and the greater role motherhood plays in stand-your-ground America.

Another racial-centric work, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. by Ari Berman examines the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and how we are still fighting for equal representation over the right for universal enfranchisement. Coupled with detailed research and pertinent interviews, Give Us the Ballot tells you everything you need to know about voting rights in both 1965 and 2015.

Kent and Amber Brantley moved with their kids to Liberia in 2013 to help those in need through medical care. Everything changed, however, when Kent, a family medicine physician, contracted the deadly Ebola virus in 2014 and made international headlines during his treatment and recovery at Emory Hospital. In Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic, the Brantleys tell their story of battling an unknown personal illness while the world watched. It chronicles the conflict between loving your neighbor and putting yourself in danger, and the struggle of supporting your loved one when you can’t even see them.

Though Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley is technically fiction, the racial connotations ring clear with the current state of the American justice system. When Gloria Jones’ son is accused of shooting and killing a white police officer after a scuffle, he runs to hiding and the entire town is after him. Gloria races to find her son before the cops do, and she faces her toughest challenge yet when she has to decide whether to turn him in or help him run. Mama’s Boy is bound to be a hit for anyone enticed by race, justice, and motherhood in modern-day America.

In 2010, the world watched as the San Jose mine collapsed in Chile and trapped more than 30 miners beneath the earth for 69 days before they were finally saved. Little has been known about what actually happened underground during those grueling 69 days—that is, until the release of Hector Tobar's Deep Dark Down: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free. This masterful work of narrative journalism tells the riveting story of what those miners went through, and the surprising ways in which the disaster changed their lives.

Stay on top of current events at this year’s DBF, and #READdifferent #READinthenews!