Book Recommendations

South Church Library

We are aware that many people are hungry for God, yet don’t have access to the tools or resources that they normally would. Carol-Georgine West, South Church Librarian, has done a wonderful job filling our library with new books for you.

Check out our book lists below for children and youth, racial justice, lgbtq+, as well as picks from Senior Pastor Dana Allen Walsh.

Want to check out a book? Email Linda and she will leave it outside in the plastic bin for pick-up.

Watch Social Justice Coalition member Betsy Hopkins give us a peek inside We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands by Rafael Lopez.

  • Making it Right: Building Peace, Settling Conflict by Marilee Peters. How young people are working to peacefully resolve conflict and heal wounds. Grade 7 and up.

  • All Because You Matter by Tami Charles. A picture book to reassure children of color that despite the racial unrest in today’s world, their lives do matter. Preschool-grade 3

  • Most People by Michael Leannah. Two pairs of siblings watch different people on the street and realize that, although some may seem strange or scary, most of the people are really good, kind, and helpful. K-grade 2
  • Santa’s Prayer by Tom Roberts. On Christmas Eve, Santa kneels in a church and prays that children will understand that Jesus is the true reason for Christmas. Preschool-grade 2
  • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders. The story of how the Gay Pride flag came to be from the inspiration of Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker. K-grade 3
  • Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution by Rob Sanders. The story of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ and civil rights movements. K-grade 3
  • Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light by Apryl Stott, Coco and her friend Bear try to show others that Bear’s size doesn’t make him mean—he’s really kind. Preschool-grade 3
  • When God Made the World by Matthew Paul Turner. An unusual presentation of how God created the world, in all its wonderful diversity of landforms and the complexity of the solar system. A truly special book. Preschool-grade 2
  • Seeds and Trees: A Children’s Book About the Power of Words by Brandon Walden. A young prince plants many seeds (words) which he waters faithfully. When they grow into trees, he cuts down the bad ones and plants good ones in their place. Ages 6-12
  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. When you feel different, an outsider, for whatever reason, it’s the day you have the courage to share something about yourself or you find something in common with others, that you begin to feel a little less different and more like others. K-Grade 3.
  • But God Remembered: Stories of women from creation to the Promised Land by Sandy Sasso. Covers Lilith, Serach, Bityah, and the daughters of Zelophehad. Preschool through Grade 4.
  • AntiRacist Baby by Ibrahim Kendi. A picture book with thoughtful and playful text. (Board book)
  • Who we are! All about being the same and different by Robie H. Harris. Sameness and differences in appearances and feelings, and how important it is to treat each other as they want to be treated. Note: uses specific terms for body parts. Picture book. K-Grade 2
  • A Church For All by Gayle Pittman. Describes a church where diversity is practiced, a church that welcomes all, whether LGBTQ, rich, poor, homeless, drug-addicted, etc. Picture book.
  • Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk! by Greg Howard After several unsuccessful enterprises, 12-year-old, newly out Mikey starts a talent agency when a 13-year-old drag queen appears as his first client. Soon many other kids come, in the hopes of winning the middle school’s talent show. Grades 5-6
  • The Whispers by Greg Howard. It’s been 4 months since his mother disappeared, and the police don’t seem to be making any progress. So 11-year-old Riley decides to search for her himself. He starts by finding the Whispers and asking for their help. Riley is also dealing with his secret crush on an 8th grade boy. Grades 5-6
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle. A memoir of female empowerment and insightful storytelling.
  • The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. Historical fiction set in the 1st Century, grounded in meticulous research, about a young woman betrothed to Jesus of Nazareth.
  • This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work by Tiffany Jewell. A great book to read and discuss as a family. Appropriate for Grade 5 – Adult
  • How to be an AntiRacist by Ibrahim Kendi. Weaves together Kendi’s personal awakening to racism with history, ethics, and science.
  • Finding meaning: the sixth stage of grief by David Kessler. Friend and colleague of Elizabeth Kubler Ross and her 5 stages of grief. Kessler adds an additional stage of grief: the search for meaning and purpose. This book was referenced in Dana’s “Blessed are those who Mourn” sermon on 10/4.
  • Inspired: slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again by Rachel Evans.. The author’s journey to better understand the Bible.
    The moment of lift: how empowering women changes the world by Melinda Gates. From her encounters with many people around the world, Gates learns how lifting up women lifts up a society.
  • Children Hall, Michael. Red: a crayon’s story. Because he was mislabeled, everyone thinks Red is Red. A friend’s different perspective allows others to see him as he really is. Fiction. Ages 3-7Herthel, Jessica and Jazz Jennings. I am Jazz. The story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender youth. Assigned male at birth, Jazz felt she had a girl brain and a boy body. Ages 4-8Hirst, Jo. A house for everyone: a story to help children learn about gender identity and gender expression. About gender identity, gender expressions, and gender acceptance. Fiction. Ages 4-8Locke, Katherine. What are your words? A book about pronouns. Ari’s words change every day. At a neighborhood bash, Ari doesn’t know what words fit for that day. Everyone else seems to be sure of their words. But when the fireworks start, Ari becomes sure of the correct words for that day. An introduction to gender-inclusiveness pronouns. Fiction. Ages 4-8.Love, Jessica. Julian is a mermaid. When Julian sees 3 beautiful mermaids, on the subway, he decides to transform himself into a mermaid. But what will his grandmother think? A story of nonconformity and acceptance. Fiction. Ages 4-8Pittman, Gayle. A church for all. Describes a church where diversity is practiced; a church that welcomes all, whether LGBTQ, rich, poor, homeless, drug-addicted, etc. Fiction. Ages 3-5Royce, Ellie. Auntie Uncle: drag queen hero. Leo is an accountant by day and drag queen Lotta at other times. His nephew helps him create an image to help introduce Auntie Uncle to friends who don’t know about the drag queen identity. Fiction. Preschool-grade 2Sanders, Rob. Pride: the story of Harvey Milk and the rainbow flag. How the PRIDE flag, a symbol of equality and inclusion, came to be through Harvey Milk’s inspiration and his collaboration with Gilbert Baker. Ages 3-9

    Sanders, Rob. Stonewall: a building, an uprising, a revolution. The story of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. Ages 5-8


    Hardy, Mark. Nothing pink. A story of 15-year-old Vincent’s friendship and romance with his first love, Robert. Fiction.  Ages 9-12

     Howard, Greg. Middle school’s a drag—you better werk! 12-year-old, newly-out Mikey starts a popular talent agency with a 13-year-old drag queen as his first client. Fiction. Ages 10-13

    Howard, Greg. The Whispers. 4 months after his mother’s disappearance, 11-year-old Riley decides to search for her himself with the help of the Whispers. Riley is also dealing with his secret crush on an 8th grade boy. Fiction. Grades 5-6

    Kuklin, Susan. Beyond magenta: transgender teens speak out. Six transgender teens tell the story of their experiences. Brutally honest, yet interesting and sometimes funny, the teens talk about what they’ve gone through, some with support systems and others without.  Grades 9-12

    Mardell, Ashley. The ABCs of LGBT+: a gender identity book for teens, teen and young adult LGBT issues. Includes personal anecdotes, infographics, resources, definitions. Ages 12 up


    Barkin, Janna. He’s always been my son; a mother’s story about raising her transgender son. Barkin talks about raising a transgender son, from birth to adulthood, and the support received from family and friends. Includes glossary and list of support sources. 

    Cheatham, Crustal, Will Remigio and Adam Evers, ed. Queer hands of God. Stories of LGBTQ+ people who have walked among us and served as God’s hands in helping others. 

    Kim-Kort, Mihmee. Outside the lines: how embracing queerness will transform your faith. The author—a wife, mother, minister, and queer—talks about the “boundary breaking love of God”.

    Lee, Justin. Torn: rescuing the Gospel from the gay-vs-Christian debate. Lee felt a call to evangelical Christian ministry, yet was also aware that he was gay. His study of the Bible brought him to self-acceptance. 

    Lemay, Mimi. What we will become: a mother, a son, and a journey of transformation. Lemay describes her child’s transgender journey, and her own journey beyond her ultra-Orthodox Jewish upbringing.

    Martin, Colby. Unclobber: rethinking our misuse of the Bible on homosexuality. Reexamines the six frequently used passages of Scripture in regards to the topic of homosexuality. 

    Mason, Janet. They: a Biblical tale of secret genders. Tabitha becomes pregnant by a shepherd and gives birth to intersex twins. She and her twin sister Tamar trick Judah, a patriarch, into believing he is responsible, so that Tabitha gains status in society rather than being burned at the stake. Fiction.

    Via, Dan O.  and Robert J. Gagnon. Homosexuality and the Bible, two views. Two New Testament scholars discuss the Biblical texts regarding homosexual behavior and orientation in their cultural contexts and for Christians today. 

    Wink, Walter. Homosexuality and Christian faith: questions of conscience for the churches. Evangelical, conservative, and liberal contributors discuss the ambiguity of Scripture regarding the issue of homosexuality, and the need to use human sciences and Christian ethics as further sources on the issues. 

  • Be the Bridge; Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by LaTasha Morrison. How Christians can work towards justice and racial unity following the words of the Gospel.
  • White Rage: the unspoken truth of our racial divide by Carol Anderson. How African Americans’ attempts to make advances have consistently been thwarted by white reaction and opposition.
  • Some of my Best Friends are Black: the strange story of integration in America by Tanner Colby. A look at race relations in our country.
  • White Fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin DiAngelo. Describes the defensive reactions white people experience when confronted about race or when they have to think about their own race.
  • Biased: uncovering the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think, and do by Jennifer Eberhardt. A look at the racial bias at all levels of our society and ways to solve the problem.
  • Locking Up Our Own: crime and punishment in black America by James Foreman. The over-incarceration of the black community and the complexities of crime, criminal justice, and race.
  • Tell Me Who You Are: sharing our stories, of race, culture, and identity by Winona Guo. The authors go on a cross-country trip across America to talk with people from all walks of life about race and identity.
  • The Sun Does Shine: how I found life and freedom on death row by Anthony Ray Hinton. The author spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, and, as a poor black man in the South, didn’t feel he had any options. But he learned to survive and transform his spirit, as well as that of fellow inmates. He was eventually released in 2015 with the aid of Civil Rights attorney Bryan Stevenson (author of Just Mercy).
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Uluo. Author offers ways for white people and BIPOC to engage in discussions of race and bias.
  • Open Mic: Riffs on life between cultures in ten voices by Mitali Perkins. Ten YA authors share their experiences growing up between cultures.
  • Be the Bridge; Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by LaTasha Morrison. How Christians can work towards justice and racial unity following the words of the Gospel.
  • Sparrow: a Book of Life and Death and Life by Jan Richardson. The author’s journey through raw grief after the passing of her husband and moving on to the life she has to create to live without him.
  • Educated by Tara Westover, Westover’s often wrenching story of growing up in a survivalist family in Idaho to her breaking away from her past to go to college and graduate school. A must-read.
  • Drawdown by Paul Hawken – The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world. Read last year in Faith Forum. Learn more about Project Drawdown:
  • Climate Church, Climate World by Rev. Dr. Jim Antal – Makes the connection between our faith and the climate  emergency very directly and powerfully.
  • Our Choice by Al Gore – Our Choice gathers in one place all of the most effective solutions that are available now and that, together, will solve this crisis. It is meant to depoliticize the issue as much as possible and inspire readers to take action—not only on an individual basis but as participants in the political processes by which every country, and the world as a whole, makes the choice that now confronts us.