5 books to read to bring awareness to important topics

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

  1. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 

The first book that one should read in the midst of this pivotal time in history is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. This novel deals with the ongoing discrimination against African Americans, specifically in the courtroom. This book is a must-read because it brings awareness to how African Americans live daily in the 21st Century and how the courtroom is an extremely biased and dangerous place for such people. It brings light to the fact that “race is not brought up in the courtroom,” but everyone can clearly see it is. 

  1. House Rules by Jodi Picoult 

Jodi Picoult is again on this list because all her fiction novels relate to some sort of real-world issue. Her book, House Rules, ties to mental diseases and how they are misconstrued in public. It deals with a boy named Jacob with Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s is on the autism spectrum and people with it tend to be socially awkward and have an all-absorbing interest in certain topics. Jacob’s main interest is forensic analysis, so when a murder occurs in Jacob’s neighborhood, his reaction towards the scenario makes the police suspicious. This page-turning book highlights just how difficult it is to live with diseases like Asperger’s and be taken seriously in the real world.  

  1. Blindness by Jose Saramago 

Blindness is a novel that depicts the horrors of a pandemic where everyone has gone blind. People are blind to all of the terrible things happening in the world like hunger, violence, rape, and so much more. It is up to the one person in the entire society that has not been taken over by blindness to direct people to what is right. It is up to them to save society. This book heavily relates to today’s pandemic, besides the fact that we all have the power to save society by simply wearing a mask.  

  1. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 

The next book that is a great read during Covid-19 is The Great Believers by Rebecca Makki. This novel is set in the time of the AIDS epidemic and describes how several people were impacted very close to home by the disease. It then jumps to thirty years later where these peoples’ lives intertwine, and they find themselves creating a special bond over the experiences they shared. This gives hope that someday after this pandemic is gone, we will reflect on our time and create unbreakable bonds with those that also endured these trying times. 

  1. Girl by Edna O’Brien 

The final book on this list is Girl by Edna O’Brien, which deals with the portrayal of women who are abducted by Boko Haram, an Islamist group in Northeast Nigeria. This novel tells the stories of terror, hunger, doubts, arrests, and more that these women faced, and that many are still facing today. It describes the journey that one woman in particular experienced, making it out of this cycle and surviving to see the world. It gives hope that more women make it out and get to see what they have been missing for so long.