poverty

https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/930668036_if_i_grow_up

If I Grow Up

Todd Strasser
4
Wednesday, Mar 7, 2018

In the inner city project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Gun shots ring out on a daily basis, and the cops never do anything about it. Most teenagers he knows drop out of school and join gangs. And everybody knows someone who has died because of it. DeShawn is smart, he knows he should stay in school and keep away from gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy expensive shoes and flat-screen TVs, DeShawn’s family can barely afford food. How he stick to his morals when his family is hungry?

This book gives readers insight into a problem...

young woman sitting cross legged underwater

Ramona Blue

Julie Murphy
5
Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017

Hurricane Harvey in the news raises the relevance of this novel to a category five. The fact that we're bringing Julie Murphy--one of the best contemporary realistic fiction authors in the country--to town for a Meet the Author visit means you must put this book on your radar. I listened to the audio version. It's fantastic. The narrator is a perfect fit for Ramona's voice.

Friday, Apr 1, 2016

In this work of non-fiction, Matthew Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, takes us to Milwaukee where we become intimately engaged in the lives of eight impoverished families. Among these families are both renters and landlords, both points of view are represented. I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction, but this book reads like a novel, while also providing significant background information regarding the laws around food stamps, eviction processes, and the inaccessibility of resources for some of our cities’ most impoverished residents.

Necessary Lies

Diane Chamberlain
4
Rated by
Jackie S.
Friday, Mar 11, 2016

Set in Grace County, North Carolina in 1960, Necessary Lies parallels the lives of Jane Forrester and Ivy Hart. At first glance, fifteen-year-old tobacco-farm worker Ivy appears to live in a completely different world than Jane, a newlywed married to a doctor, but both struggle for control over their lives. Ivy is the glue that holds her family together since her father died.

gun covered in knitting

When I Was the Greatest

Jason Reynolds
4
Rated by
Helen H.
Sunday, Feb 21, 2016

It’s a tale as old as time: teens going to parties far beyond their years. For this Johnson County reader, the interest in Jason Reynold's When I Was the Greatest lies in the microclimate of Bed-Stuy in New York City.

The Art of Crash Landing

Melissa DeCarlo
5
Rated by
Helen H.
Wednesday, Dec 2, 2015

Despite her best efforts, I love Mattie Wallace. She often behaves badly, and she knows it. But it’s who she believes she is, so she behaves badly.

A little girl holding a birdhouse

We Never Asked for Wings

Vanessa Diffenbaugh
4
Rated by
Colleen O.
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

At sixteen, Letty Espinosa has everything going for her – she’s young, pretty and smart with a handsome boyfriend who loves her. Only the sky is the limit. When she discovers she is pregnant, all her hopes and dreams are suddenly dashed. Now a 33-year old single mother of two, working several menial jobs to bring in money for her family, she has been living somewhat irresponsibly while her mother has been raising her two children.

outline of a dog on plain background

Salvage the Bones

Jesmyn Ward
4
Rated by
Helen H.
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

In the days before Hurricane Katrina is to hit Bois Savage, Mississippi, families are preparing their homes for the event as they’ve always done. Young Esch and her brothers have been left to their own devices since their mother’s death as their father is usually too drunk to care for them. One brother struggles to win a coveted scholarship to basketball camp, one dotes on his Pit Bull who has just birthed a liter of valuable puppies, Esch reaches a startling and unwelcome epiphany, and the youngest just gets in everyone’s way.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner
3
Rated by
Melody M.K.
Saturday, Sep 7, 2013

Chris Gardner and his toddler son spent a year living on the streets of San Francisco, in and out of shelters and run down hotels. All while working in the financial district to get a job that would provide them with enough to live on.

Ultimately, Chris becomes the Chief Executive of Gardner Rich & Company, a multimillion-dollar brokerage. Today, Chris is an avid philanthropist and motivational speaker.

Friday, Oct 12, 2012

Laurel’s life is going according to plan. She has come a long way from her trailer- trash beginnings in the hills of Alabama. Happily married with an adored 12-year-old daughter, she lives in a “perfect” gated Florida community. She hasn’t seen her uncle’s ghost since leaving Alabama and she has managed to shield her husband and daughter from a past she longs to forget. But her world begins to fall apart when she finds her daughter’s

Pages