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Quaker Book Reviews from Friends Journal

Friends Journal is made for readers, and we look forward to introducing our readers to all manner of books relevant to the Quaker experience. Every issue is packed with insightful and honest reviews of books of interest to Friends.

books-seeds-that-change-the-world

Seeds That Change the World: Essays on Quakerism, Spirituality, Faith, and Culture

By Debbie L. Humphries. QuakerPress of FGC, 2017. 143 pages. $14.95/paperback; $9.95/eBook. Is it okay to shout out to Friends, “This gal rocks!”? Sign her up as a speaker if you’re planning a gathering of Friends. Debbie Humphries grew up in an enlightened Mormon family and came to Quakerism through several spiritual friendships, including one […]

Brad Sheeks is a member of Newtown (Pa.) Meeting, and with his wife, Patricia McBee, has moved to Newtown to enjoy retirement and live closer to daughter, Jennie, and her family.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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books-mary-william-dyer

Mary and William Dyer: Quaker Light and Puritan Ambition in Early New England

By Johan Winsser. Self-published, 2017. 345 pages (includes appendix and extensive notes). $24.95/paperback; $9.99/eBook. Mary Dyer’s story as a Quaker martyr is captivating, and one may have at least a passing familiarity with it, even if only through Sylvia Shaw Judson’s statues at Earlham College, Boston Common, and Philadelphia’s Friends Center. Author Johan Winsser notes […]

Gwen Gosney Erickson lives in Greensboro, N.C., where she is employed as the Quaker librarian and college archivist at Guilford College. She currently serves as clerk of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative). Her first encounters with Mary Dyer were as a six-year-old sitting on the statue at Earlham College.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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books-sometimes-amazing-things-happen

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward

By Elizabeth Ford. Regan Arts, 2017. 247 pages. $27.95/hardcover; $16.99/paperback; $14.99/eBook. How many of us could survive one day in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail, especially if we were mentally ill? Wouldn’t confinement in a psychiatric hospital be safer and more therapeutic? As a peer counselor in the psychiatric ER of Kings County […]

Carl Blumenthal is a member of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Meeting and a reporter on mental healthcare.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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Racial Purity and Dangerous Bodies: Moral Pollution, Black Lives, and the Struggle for Justice

By Rima Vesely-Flad. Fortress Press, 2017. 226 pages. $34/paperback; $4.99/eBook. A couple of years ago, I visited a man I had known 40 years ago. In catching up with one another, I mentioned that I served on the Annapolis (Md.) Human Relations Commission. His response was: “You know, I hate to say this, but I […]

Patience A. Schenck is a member of Annapolis (Md.) Meeting, now living happily at Friends House in Sandy Spring, Md. She volunteers with Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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books-this-will-be-my-undoing

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

By Morgan Jerkins. Harper Perennial, 2018. 272 pages. $15.99/paperback; $10.99/eBook. I was drawn to Morgan Jerkins’s writing because I feel a kinship with her. Jerkins and I are around the same age; we have many of the same interests. We have both studied literature. Her writing has been published in the magazines and websites I […]

Anna McCormally is a member of Herndon (Va.) Meeting, and works as assistant to the executive secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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books-barking-to-the-choir

Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship

By Gregory Boyle. Simon & Schuster, 2017. 224 pages. $26/hardcover; $16/paperback (available in September); $13.99/eBook. Five years ago I began my current role as director of social action at a Catholic school, which I have unabashedly described as my dream job. It is often surprising for people to hear that my Quaker spirituality has developed […]

Lauren Brownlee is a member of Bethesda (Md.) Meeting and serves on the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Growing Diverse Leadership and Peace and Social Concerns committees.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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books-the-newcomers

The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom

By Helen Thorpe. Scribner, 2017. 396 pages. $28/hardcover; $18/paperback (available in September); $14.99/eBook. Imagine if you can that you are, say, 15 years old. You’ve spent part, if not all, of your short life in someplace other than where you should call home: perhaps a war zone, perhaps the homes of relatives you don’t really […]

Dave Austin is a member of Haddonfield (N.J.) Meeting. He lives in Marlton, N.J., where he teaches middle school world history. He is currently at work on a young adult novel about the Holocaust in France.


Posted in: Creativity and the Arts, June/July 2018 Books, Quaker Book Reviews
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Shelter

Shelter

By Céline Claire, illustrated by Qin Leng. Kids Can Press, 2017. 42 pages. $17.99/hardcover; $9.99/eBook. Recommended for ages 2–7. Shelter is a very small tale about a very important idea. In the forest as a big storm approaches, the animal families work together to gather extra food and firewood. Finally ready and snug in warm homes, […]

Retired school librarian Margaret T. Walden, a member of Cleveland (Ohio) Meeting, shelters from the snow with her husband in Lakewood, Ohio.


Posted in: May 2018 Books: A Young Friends Bookshelf, Quaker Book Reviews, What Are Quaker Values Anyway?
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AllAround

All Around Us

By Xelena González, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia. Cinco Puntos Press, 2017. 32 pages. $17.95/hardcover or eBook. Recommended for ages 3–7. I read All Around Us to the children in our First-day school (ages four through eight) at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Meeting. They said they liked the colors and the words. In All Around Us each page […]

Emmy Gay is a member of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Meeting.


Posted in: May 2018 Books: A Young Friends Bookshelf, Quaker Book Reviews, What Are Quaker Values Anyway?
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hand-over-hand

Hand Over Hand

By Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Renné Benoit. Second Story Press, 2017. 24 pages. $16.95/hardcover. Recommended for ages 4–8. A summer cold and writing setbacks had laid me low, when Hand Over Hand arrived to challenge my self-pity. Filipino Nina persuades her lolo (grandfather) to defy village tradition that holds “Girls can’t fish. Their place is on shore.” […]

Margaret Crompton’s (Britain Yearly Meeting) publications include Pendle Hill pamphlet number 419, Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Well-being.


Posted in: May 2018 Books: A Young Friends Bookshelf, Quaker Book Reviews, What Are Quaker Values Anyway?
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