Martha Southgate : A Taste of Salt 

The Henderson family is caught in a cycle of alcoholism. Despite desperate attempts to escape their roots, Southgate’s characters come to discover that no matter how hard one may run, one’s fate is unavoidable. Josie Henderson is an ocean lover who is deeply fulfilled by her position as the only senior-level black scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. But in building this impressive life for herself, she has tried to shed the one thing she cannot: her family back in landlocked Cleveland. When Tick, her adored brother and childhood ally against their alcoholic father, arrives on her doorstep with his own addiction, Josie must face both her family’s secrets and her own fate.

Weaving four voices into a beautiful tapestry, Southgate charts the lives of the Hendersons from the parents’ first charmed meeting to Josie’s final realization thatthe ways of the human heart are more complex than anything you can see under a microscope.

Silver Sparrow : Tayari Jones 

What was your inspiration for Silver Sparrow ?
I think of my writing kind of like I think of love—so mysterious and so wrapped up in my own life and history (and issues!) that I can’t really tell how it began. But I can say that I have always been
intrigued by the idea of “half ” sisters. I have two sisters with whom I share a father, but we each have different mothers. They were born before my father met my mother, and they grew up in another state and led completely separate lives from me and from each other. When I was a little girl, with only brothers, I used to fantasize about having two big sisters far away who would love me, dress me up, listen to me talk, et cetera.

Back to School Time 

In many parts of the country, August means first days, back packs, new shoes and back-to-school sales. For kids, it means it is time to finish your summer reading list. Back in the day, those reading lists didn't offer many choices if you were looking for multi-cultural children's books. Times have changed and there are excellent books available that represent everyone.

With that in mind, we wanted to pose the question: What are your coices for the best children's book? Leave us a comment and let us know. Here are some of our picks for ages 3-8.