The Positive Change-Makers in Nonfiction category for Summer Reading highlights those who have impacted communities and history for the greater good. A few of our favorites are featured below, and even more lives of inspiration may be discovered here.
She Came To Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
A lively, informative and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history–Harriet Tubman–looks at a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self Love by Jonathan Van Ness
The style-expert star of Queer Eye shares deeply personal stories from his Midwestern childhood, revealing how he channeled his passions and setbacks into the positive energy that shaped his signature brand.
The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart
The definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance. Explore the education of Alain Locke, including his becoming the first African American Rhodes Scholar and earning a PhD in philosophy at Harvard University, and his long career as a professor.
Fearless Women: Courageous Females Who Refused to Be Denied by Toby Reynolds
Profiles thirty-six women who fought for freedom, and forged new paths to help change society, including such notables as Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, and Amelia Earhart.
Author Stephen L. Carter traces the story of his grandmother, an African-American attorney who, in spite of period barriers, devised the strategy that sent mafia chieftain Lucky Luciano to prison in the 1930s.
True Crime; Engaging
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblat
A portrait of Elizabethan England and how it contributed to the making of William Shakespeare discusses how he moved to London lacking money, connections, and a formal education and rose to become his age’s foremost playwright.
History; Richly Detailed
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland
Documents the author’s emotionally dynamic effort to become the third African-American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre, describing the harsh family difficulties she overcame including her mother’s highly publicized custody battle to halt her career.
Traces how the author, having been rescued and resuscitated by Himalayan villagers after a failed attempt to climb K2, worked to build schools that would particularly benefit the young girls who were forbidden an education by Taliban restrictions.