• Inspire Teen Reads

Ride-or-die book picks, brought to you by Inspire (Part 2)

We asked the Inspire Teen Reads team what their favourite books were. From fiction, to memoir, non fiction to graphic novels, here are the team’s ride-or-die books:

Serena’s Pick: Educated by Tara Westover

“In deciding which book I would claim as my favourite, I almost had an existential crisis in picking this memoir over The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. But in the end, Westover’s story of triumph and self-invention despite her roots as the youngest daughter of a Mormon survivalist family tucked away in the mountains of Idaho is undeniably powerful. As she reflects on her childhood ignorance and the struggle of reconstructing her view of the world, she writes, “... the great Historians Carlyl and Macaulay and Trevelyan could be wrong, but from the ashes of their dispute I could construct a world to live in. In knowing the ground was not ground at all, I hoped I could stand on it.” This book inflicted on me the “dreamer’s disease” and pushed me to acknowledge the unknown territory outside the bounds of what I think I know to be true. I recommend this tale to anyone and everyone that feels disconnected from the world around them, in the hopes that they might open their minds to the unpredictability and preciousness of life.” --Serena

Nazanin’s Pick: Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

“I had a difficult time picking a favourite book, but for now it has to be Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now. I picked up this book during quarantine, and it quickly transformed into one of my favourite pieces of text. The book builds a great case for why enlightenment values —namely science, reason, humanism, and progress— are so important, especially now, and how they can be used to drive the human species even further. The book felt timely during the disheartening times of a global pandemic in that it restored my faith in the future.” --Nazanin

Jenniffer’s Pick: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

“Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead centres around a young 2-spirited/Indigiqueer person who must return to his reserve for a week to attend his stepfather’s funeral. What I deeply enjoyed about this book was not only its “non-linear” structure, but the writing which cannot be described as anything but expressive, raw, and very real. The book is unapologetic in its ability to piece together sexuality, trauma, love, friendship, and family in a way that is painful but honesty. Every time I read it, I can’t help but feel I’ve found the definition of what it means to be ‘coming-of-age.’” --Jenniffer