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Archive for January, 2011

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
As a librarian, it’s part of my job to keep on top of what books are popular with our patrons; but I’m a slow reader and my To Be Read pile is large, so I often don’t get to read these popular books until long after they’re published. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help has been a best-seller since it was published in 2009, and I finally had a chance to read it recently. It’s a great choice for book groups. Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter are strong Southern women living in 1960s Mississippi when Jim Crow laws still existed. They get past their fear of racially motivated attacks in their community and press on writing their stories about being black women working for white families. I liked the writing style Stockett used, which made it very easy to get into the head of each character. I highly recommend the book to anyone.

If you’re looking for other books similar to The Help, try these:

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Set in South Carolina in 1964, Lily Owens’ life has been shaped around the blurred memory the afternoon her mother was killed. She and her “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, flee after an encounter with their town’s fiercest racists. They are taken in by three beekeeping sisters who Lily to a world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their house.

 

We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth BergWe Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
It is the summer of 1964 in Tupelo, Mississippi, and in Paige Dunn’s house there are more pressing matters than the civil rights demonstrations across the state. Paige is still suffering from the effects of polio, and she is determined to live her life as normal as possible.

 

 

Four Spirits by Sena Jeter NaslundFour Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
In the wake of racial tensions in 1960s Alabama, sheltered white college student Stella participates in her first freedom movement and finds her life changed in several ways when she develops friendships with local African Americans.

 

 

 

The Living by Annie DillardThe Living by Annie Dillard
When Native Americans help two struggling pioneer families in Washington, the behavior and attitudes of both groups change.

 

 

 

 

Catfish Alley by Lynne BryantCatfish Alley by Lynne Bryant – coming April 5, 2011
Publishers Weekly says, “…her tale will appeal to readers who enjoyed The Help. The author accesses her own tumultuous Southern history to lend her enchanting tale much local color.” You can read the first chapter (PDF) at the author’s website.

 

 

Do you have any suggestions for The Help readalikes? Share them in the comments!

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