The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic by Darby Penney, Peter Statsny, and photos by Lisa Rinzler. It was a book that took 10yrs to come together and contains the photos & stories of nearly 400 suitcases...and their owners. "...deeply moving testament to the human side of mental illness, and the narrow margin between the sane and the insane." -Oliver Sacks, MD
1831. 15-year-old Mary begins the difficult task of telling her story. Mary leads a harsh life working on her father's farm. In the summer she is sent to work for the local vicar's invalid wife, where the reasons why she must record the truth of what happens to her are gradually revealed.
This is not a "happily ever after" story, but it is one that makes you contemplate the complexity of denial—the bravery of it, the cost of it and the necessity of it—in the face of overwhelming circumstances. A poignant and glittering pick.
Someone Knows my Name by Lawrence Hill This should be mandatory reading for high school and above. Follows an 11 year girl from her abduction in Africa, to her time as a slave, to her eventual freedom. A glimpse into that horrific regrettable time in our country's history.