Thursday, December 12, 2019

Cover image

Broke: Hardship and Resilience in the City of Broken Promises

Jodie Adams Kirshner

Bankruptcy and the austerity it represents have become a common "solution" for struggling American cities. What do the spending cuts and limited resources do to the lives of city residents? In Broke, Jodie Adams Kirshner follows seven Detroiters as they navigate life during and after their city's bankruptcy. Reggie loses his savings trying to make a habitable home for his family. Cindy fights drug use, prostitution, and dumping on her block. Lola commutes two hours a day to her suburban job. For them, financial issues are mired within the larger ramifications of poor urban policies, restorative negligence on the state and federal level and—even before the decision to declare Detroit bankrupt in 2013—the root causes of a city's fiscal demise.

Like Matthew Desmond's Evicted, Broke looks at what municipal distress means, not just on paper but in practical—and personal—terms. More than 40 percent of Detroit's 700,000 residents fall below the poverty line. Post-bankruptcy, they struggle with a broken real estate market, school system, and job market—and their lives have not improved.

Detroit is emblematic. Kirshner makes a powerful argument that cities—the economic engine of America—are never quite given the aid that they need by either the state or federal government for their residents to survive, not to mention flourish. Success for all America's citizens depends on equity of opportunity.

Nonfiction. Call number: 336.368 Kir. View in our catalog

Cover image

Lady Takes the Case

Eliza Casey

England 1912. Danby Hall is the only home Lady Cecilia Bates has ever known. Despite the rigid rules of etiquette and her mother the Countess of Avebury's fervent desire to see her married off, Lady Cecilia can't imagine life anywhere else. But now, with an agricultural depression sweeping the countryside, the Bates family's possession of the hall is suddenly in peril.

A possible solution arrives in the form of the imperious American heiress Annabel Clarke. The Earl and Countess of Avebury are determined that Cecilia's brother, Patrick, will win Annabel's hand in marriage—and her fortune along with it. To help the lackluster Patrick in this pursuit, the Bates and their staff arrange a grand house party upon the heiress's arrival.

When a guest dies after sipping from a glass meant for Annabel, it's clear the Bates have a more poisonous problem on their hands than a lack of chemistry. As the scandal seizes Danby, Cecilia sets out to find the culprit, with help from Annabel's maid, Jane, and Jane's curiously intelligent cat, Jack.

After the poison that someone had stashed away inside the manor is discovered, Cecilia is left with two possibilities: Either a resident of Danby snapped and tried to kill the arrogant heiress, or the threat is coming from one of their guests, who would love to see the Bates family's decline become permanent.

Mystery fiction. Call number: MFIC Cas. View in our catalog

Cover image

Stories to Sing in the Dark

Matthew Bright

The speculative shines bright in the dark with these stories by Matthew Bright: a boy with a secret begins work at a strange library housing all the books never written; Dorian Gray's love of beauty struggles in the face of AIDs-era San Francisco and the Castro; the tomb of the Empress is adrift in space and hungry for the concubines aboard her; two men in an old film finally realize that they are trapped but still they seek the means for finally declaring their love for each other. These and other tales of the queer fantastic are the perfect bedfellows for the deep, dark night.

Science fiction/fantasy. Call number: SCIFIC Bri. View in our catalog

Cover image

Girls Like Us

Randi Pink

Four teenage girls. Four different stories. What they all have in common is that they're dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

It's the summer of 1972, before Roe v. Wade. In rural Georgia, Izella is wise beyond her years, but burdened with the responsibility of her older sister, Ola, who has found out she's pregnant. Their young neighbor, Missippi, is also pregnant, but doesn't fully understand the extent of her predicament. When her father sends her to Chicago to give birth, she meets the final narrator, Susan, who is white and the daughter of an anti-choice senator.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Pin. View in our catalog

Cover image

Pokko and the Drum

Matthew Forsythe

The biggest mistake Pokko's parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father's voice when he calls her home?

Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY For. View in our catalog

© 2020 William P. Faust Westland Public Library