It's not just that I read and loved her novel To Kill a Mockingbird as a young woman. It's that I was given the gift of teaching it for many years, and in doing so, I witnessed my students' growth as readers and thinkers. As a teacher, there is really no better gift than that. It is immeasurable. I am so grateful to Ms. Lee for this gift.
Talking about race isn't easy. It's personal, it's political, it's visceral. That these were two of the most hotly anticipated and talked-about books of the year only underscores the power of literature to provide a window into this most difficult of subjects. Here are twelve books that have changed the way we talk about race in America.