Common Reads

Looking for your next all-school or all-community read? See below for suggestions from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group!

COMING SOON

The Sun Does Shine: An Innocent Man, A Wrongful Conviction, and the Long Path to Justice

by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times, now adapted for younger readers.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only 29 years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with a criminal justice system with the cards stacked against Black men, Hinton was sentenced to death . He spent his first three years on Death Row in despairing silence—angry and full of hatred for all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With themes both timely and timeless, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic 30-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Also available in an adult edition, making it the perfect choice for all-community reads.


Don’t Look Back: A Memoir of War, Survival, and My Journey from Sudan to America

 by Achut Deng and Keely Hutton
On sale October 11, 2022

I want life.

After a deadly attack in South Sudan left six-year-old Achut Deng without a family, she lived in refugee camps for ten years, until a refugee relocation program gave her the opportunity to move to the United States. When asked why she should be given a chance to leave the camp, Achut simply told the interviewer: I want life.

But the chance at starting a new life in a new country came with a different set of challenges. Some of them equally deadly. Taught by the strong women in her life not to look back, Achut kept moving forward, overcoming one obstacle after another, facing each day with hope and faith in her future. Yet, just as Achut began to think of the US as her home, a tie to her old life resurfaced, and for the first time, she had no choice but to remember her past.

In this powerful, and propulsive memoir, Achut Deng and Keely Hutton tell a harrowing and inspiring story showing both the ugliness and the beauty of humanity, and the power of not giving up.


ON SALE NOW

All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto

by George Matthew Johnson
A New York Times bestseller

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.


The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

by Dashka Slater
A New York Times bestseller

Stonewall Book Award Winner
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.


wishtree

by Katherine Applegate
A New York Times bestseller

A special edition for adults of Katherine Applegate’s New York Times-bestselling novel about an oak tree and a crow who help their neighbors embrace their differences.

Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.

When a new family moves in, not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever. With a message of inclusion for dreamers and welcomers, this is a book for our lives and times.

“A beautifully written, morally bracing story that will leave its imprint on a reader of any age.” —The New York Times Book Review