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Summer Justice Reads - Our Staff Picks

Looking for summer beach reads? The staff of the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue and the Office of Social Justice have done the searching for you. 

The Book of Unknown Americans - Christina Henriquez

Kate Kooyman

The stories of undocumented people in the U.S. -- how they came, what their lives are like -- are so true to life, and so relatable. Leads to a great conversation with others about re-humanizing the way we talk about (and legislate) immigration in the U.S.


Medicine Walk - Richard Wagamese

Mike Hogeterp

This is a moving story about an Indigenous father and son. It is a powerful testimony about intergenerational trauma and the importance of land and ceremony in healing and reconciliation. Beautifully written.


Them - Nathan McCall

Shannon Jammal-Hollemans

This novel looks at the gentrification of an Atlanta neighborhood through the eyes of a man struggling with the changing landscape around him. His voice is a genuine and important one for those interested in revitalizing communities to listen to and learn from.


Gray Mountain - John Grisham

Richard Killmer

This novel is an indictment of the coal industry. It is important for anyone interested in the changes happening in energy production, particularly the shrinking of the coal industry and the ensuing layoffs of coal miners.



Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Kelsey Herbert

This captivating novel highlights the challenges of identity that come with an increasingly globalized world. It offers insight from an international perspective on race in America and the many challenges immigrants face in the US and abroad. Ifemelu, a Nigerian immigrant living in the US, grapples with being ‘Black’ for the first time in her life and navigating racial distinctions in her new home.


The Illegal - Lawrence Hill

Danielle Rowaan

The author of the moving Book of Negroes is back, this time with a novel focusing on the refugee crisis. Set on the fictional islands of Freedom State and Zantoroland, the novel is timely because it explores the factors that push people to flee their homelands and the varying responses they receive at their destination--from fear and ugly animosity to manipulation to courageous advocacy. Though its characters and setting are fictional, its depiction of xenophobia is powerful and thought-provoking.


This summer we'll be publishing several lists of justice reads. Interested in contributing? Email

[Cover image: Pexels]


The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

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