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Author: J.E. Sumerau
Who am I? Where did I come from? What is a family? How do families of choice develop?

These questions permeate the pages of Scarecrow wherein a bisexual, nonbinary trans feminine person named Erin seeks to make sense of her life in relation to the places, people, and events she has seen and left behind over time. As the novel begins, Erin tells us that “39 funerals, 35 years, and too many lovers to bother remembering brought me to this point.” From this opening statement, Erin reflects on three-and-a-half decades of experiences growing up working class, white, and queer in the southeastern U.S.; navigating sexual, gender, classed, racial, and religious meanings and relationships; surviving varied types of love, trauma, kindness, and violence; and joining the upper-middle class world of the professoriate. As the novel progresses, she shows us how these experiences intertwine, create opportunities, and leave scars that together fashion who she has become over time and in relation to others.

Scarecrow could be utilized in the teaching of sociology, social psychology, Symbolic Interactionism, narrative, families, gender, sexualities, race, class, geography, biography, Southern Studies, LGBTQIA studies, trauma recovery, courses about aging and the life course, or of course, it could be read entirely for pleasure.
A Story of Quarantine and a Question of Conscience
Author: R. P. Clair
Buried Together: A Story of Quarantine and a Question of Conscience is a work of historical fiction based on the true story of Silas Mercer Beasley Jr., a Civil War conscientious objector. Silas Jr.’s brothers fought for both sides (Union and Confederacy) and a few questioned Silas’ courage. Following the war, he and his Union veteran brothers faced threats of death from local Southerners. Silas gathered his family and left Georgia in pursuit of his missing brothers and safety. All but Silas fell ill during this exodus due to the pandemic (i.e., smallpox, typhoid fever, measles). They sought refuge in a cabin in Tennessee where they quarantined through these troubling times. During their quarantine, Silas’ mother told the story of the Cherokee Removal and the infamous Kilakeena Elias Boudinot to help her son keep vigil so that he might protect the family from marauders. Surrounded by danger, Silas Jr. was faced with more than one life and death decision and more than one heart-breaking loss.

This historical novel speaks to contemporary issues. Based on archival documents and Silas Jr.’s published diary accounts of the Civil War times and beyond, readers learn of conscription, bi-racial families, and voter suppression. With respect to the Cherokee Removal, readers learn about the culture as depicted through the ethnographic work of James Mooney. They further learn of various Generals’ opposition to the Cherokee Removal and political strategies of Jackson and Van Buren. But more than this, readers learn of the life experiences of one family, and of one man; the heartbreak they endured and the resilience they displayed.
A Critical Review for Educators, Librarians, Families, Researchers & Writers
This enriched reference guide offers a unique overview of more than 200 picture books published by Canadian publishing houses between 2017–2019. The authors cover key themes in contemporary Canadian titles that match broad curriculum trends in education. Response activities are included in the text, for example frameworks for critical literacy discussions, along with annotated bibliographies that specifically recognize titles by Indigenous authors and illustrators. The book also contains original interviews with a dozen rising stars in Canadian writing and book illustration. While the book is specifically geared for educators, it also supports public libraries, Education researchers, and future picture book creators, as well as families who are interested in learning more about reading development and related literacy activities for the home setting.