The NEHS Book Nook

Reading recommendations for the bibliophile in all of us

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Published in 2018, Becoming is an memoir written by First Lady Michelle Obama. This up-close and personal novel is narrated in three parts by the First Lady and explores the various obstacles and challenges she faced in her childhood and even to the present.

Before the First Lady became “Mrs. Obama.” she was Michelle Robinson from the South Side of Chicago who was raised in a loving middle, middle-class family. From the very beginning, First Lady Michelle Obama possessed the intellectual drive to accomplish anything she put her mind to. After finishing high school, First Lady attended Princeton University for her undergraduate degree and Harvard University for her law degree. Years later while working in a corporate law firm, Mrs. Obama became the mentor to the future leader of the free world—President Barack Obama.

After dating for 3 years, they married and began their beautiful lives together. In the memoir, the First Lady tells of the many struggles she endured as being the wife of a political figure while trying to balance her career and desire to be a mother. Mrs. Obama admits from the start that she was not a fan of politics but has always recognized the changes that could be delivered because of it. While in office as the First Lady, Mrs. Obama instituted many initiatives to make the White House reflect the modern world she lived in. After living eight years in the public eye, the bittersweet moment came for the First Lady to pass down all that she has learned over the years. Although her job as First Lady is done, Mrs. Michelle Obama continues to travel the world uplifting young girls and helping them to realize their potential.  

Haley Williams

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken 

In Alexandra Bracken’s action-packed, young adult thriller, the United States is plagued by a deadly disease that infects all ten year-old children. Those who survive the disease are infected with a variety of enhancements that are ranked by color. The surviving children are sent to camps are separated by their powers; blue being the less threatening and red being lethal. However, if children are diagnosed as orange or red, they are immediately euthanized because they are viewed as major threats.

In the camps, the children are treated worse than animals, and the protagonist (and orange) Ruby wishes for nothing more than her freedom as she hides out among the green children. Her wish is granted ten years later when Cate, a member of the Children’s League, sneaks her out of the camp. Her freedom is bittersweet and short lived when she learns the truth about the League, and she devises another successful escape plan that leads her to three other enhanced children. Ruby, Liam, Chubs, and Zu face difficult and life-threatening obstacles as they search for the infamous “Slip-kid” but instead find themselves in a seemingly innocent campsite full of other children. Ruby and the trio struggle to survive in a world that wants them dead, while still holding onto their sanity and humanity. This book is a must-read for those looking for dramatic action scenes, adorable young love, and heartbreaking betrayals.  

AnnMarie Raque

A Beautiful Composition of Broken by R.H. Sin

A Beautiful Composition of Broken by R.H. Sin is a collection of poems written about heartbreak, feminism, self-worth in relationships, and loving oneself. R.H. Sin shares his experiences in a poetic form to help the reader get through break ups, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness. Many of these poems focus on the topic of women being strong, beautiful warriors. Other poems also touch on the worthless feelings many people have after breakups. He focuses on the idea that it is not the readers fault for being hurt and that the other person was not mature enough to accept love. The remaining poems focus on loving oneself. R.H. Sin takes the cliché “You must love yourself before you accept others love” and puts it beautifully simple. He talks not only about the importance of self-love but also the difference between knowing you must love yourself and actually doing it.  

R.H. Sin writes these poems so that they are filled with emotion and are a quick, easy read. The busy reader can read a poem or two when they have a free moment, then put it down and not come back to it for weeks. However, the emotional connection the reader develops to the book makes it impossible to put down. Sin’s emotional vulnerability shines through his words and transports the reader into his mindset. From sorrow over heartbreak to the pride of loving oneself, the reader can delve into their emotions. This collection is an exquisite, easy, and helpful read because these poems help people accept pain in life and rise above it.  

Kassidy Meredith