“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Everyone can relate to it. You’re sitting in English 9 or American Literature, and the teacher hands you yet another book in the long queue of pieces that your class will be reading for the year. Luckily, most of the books chosen for the curriculum at SJP are thought-provoking, great discussion starters, and overall, really good reads. But if you’re anything like me, you start to think about how this novel is replacing the one that you so desperately wanted to read at home. As students at Prep, homework, papers, and readings consume a large chunk of our time, so the question becomes: What books am I willing to set aside time for to read outside of school? If “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates isn’t one of the front runners on that list, it should be.

This book is in a league all its own. This non-fiction piece, written in the form of a letter to Coates’s 15-year-old son, tackles some of the biggest issues of our time. Touching on the issues of racism towards African-Americans in the U.S., Coates gives new insight by blending his personal experiences with events that are happening in real time around the country. The topics that Coates covers throughout this book are not only thought-provoking but also very relevant. The events that Coates uses to give shape to this piece are recent and still affect people on a daily basis. This is not just another book about a post-apocalyptic world (although we all know and love a book like that). It is a shocking piece of reality about the world we live in, and it is complimented beautifully by Coates’s fluid and intricate writing. His writing flows in such a beautiful way that it is almost impossible to put this book down once you start reading it.

If you do happen to find yourself with some free time, Netflix and napping are good options, but you will not regret reading this book.