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“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” is a children’s title recognized by readers around the world. In this award-winning picture book, a bus driver takes a break and asks the reader not to let the pigeon drive his bus. While the driver provides the reader with a list of reasons the pigeon shouldn’t be allowed to drive, the pigeon tells the reader about all his qualifications. This contrast leads the reader to make decisions based on moral responsibilities while also exploring the art of persuasion presented by the pigeon.

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Meghan Markle’s picture book brings readers into the special relationship between father and son, seen through a mother’s eyes. The story is special because it gives a realistic take on the evolving relationship children can have with their parents in the modern age.

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John Lennon cited Braun’s 1964 biography as the most honest account of the band’s hey-day, even better than Hunter Davies’ much more popular, and also very good, biographical “Beatles Book.” Braun takes readers through a nothing-is-off-limits ride, showcasing each musician’s famous wit, even when it gets them in trouble at times.

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On the outset, this memoir sounds entirely serious: a young man, born to a European father and Xhosa mother during the rule of apartheid in South Africa (meaning his very existence is a crime), explores growing up in an era marked by violence. After all, the book opens with the Immorality Act of 1927, which states that “illicit carnal intercourse between Europeans and natives” is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years!

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This is yet another memoir that doesn’t take itself too seriously, seizing opportunities for humor outside of the main text, including a testimonial from the author’s mother that reads, “Maybe you shouldn’t tell me things like that.”

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A dog finds his meaning through living with humans, allowing a perfectly symbiotic relationship to form. Through this beautiful story, readers learn that every being on our planet has a distinct purpose.

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This 2015 novel places the reader at the center of a large black family in Detroit, moving us from the father’s early years in the city in the 1940s to the Turner family’s financial struggles in 2008. The 13 Turner children span a generation and the book is an immersive examination of the complexities of sibling relationships, the housing crisis’ impact on inner-city families like the Turners, and how a house becomes the story of its inhabitants.

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Named one of the best books of 2019 by The New York Times, this sprawling debut novel is “an intimate, brainy, gleaming epic, set mostly in what is now Zambia, the landlocked country in southern Africa,” wrote an NYT reviewer; the book follows the fortunes of three families across four generations, from colonialism through the AIDS crisis. “The reader who picks up ‘The Old Drift’ is likely to be more than simply impressed,” the review continued. “This is a dazzling book, as ambitious as any first novel published this decade. It made the skin on the back of my neck prickle.”

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