Starting as something of an anomaly, Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School quickly became a beacon of hope for the African-American community during the Jim Crow era. Founded in 1870, Dunbar stood as a new standard of education, employing a stellar all-black faculty comprising numerous educators with graduate degrees. With many of its alumni going on to become pillars of the community and pilot the advancement of African-Americans, Dunbar’s success seemed boundless. However, in recent years, the institution’s failing test scores and record low numbers in reading comprehension mirror the challenges that plague many urban public schools today. In First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School (Chicago Review, $26.95), Alison Stewart, daughter of Dunbar High School graduates, draws on in-depth interviews with the school’s alumni to tell the extraordinary story of the academically elite public school, its downfall, and its current struggle to regain its excellence.

First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School Cover Image
ISBN: 9781613740095
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Chicago Review Press - August 1st, 2013

First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School Cover Image
ISBN: 9781613731765
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lawrence Hill Books - August 1st, 2015

Nora Ephron was many things: journalist, screenwriter, an Academy Award nominee, a playwright, novelist, blogger, and an advocate for women. Most important, she seemed like your best friend and confidante—your homegirl. Now, finally, some of her best writing is collected in one volume. The Most of Nora Ephron (Knopf, $35) includes journalism, the screenplay of When Harry Met Sally, the novel, Heartburn, posts from Ephron’s food blog, and more. Reading this book gave me goose bumps and made me sad for a world where Nora is no longer; her films remain some of my favorites, and reading this collection felt like a parting gift from one of the funniest ladies in showbiz. Before her death, Nora stipulated that this collection never be turned into an e-book—making her not only a girl’s best friend, but a bookseller’s as well.

The Most of Nora Ephron Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385350839
Availability: Backordered
Published: Knopf - October 29th, 2013

As informative as it is lovely, Seeing Flowers (Timber Press, $29.95) embodies the same features of grace and balance that it celebrates in its subject. The angiosperm is a marvel of design and efficiency; it also comes in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Teri Dunn Chace, former Horticulture magazine editor and author of The Anxious Gardener’s Book of Answers, provides the words, Robert Llewellyn, the photographer for Seeing Trees, Remarkable Trees of Virginia, and other landscape albums, took the pictures. Together, the two present twenty-eight families of flowers, from buttercups and daisies to orchids and roses, in stunning new ways. Chace’s essays include practical growing tips, facts about petals and sepals, and unusual lore. Llewellyn’s pictures, using a technique developed for microscopes that involves stitching together images taken from various focal points, offer the closest thing to a bee’s-eye view of these plants a human observer is likely to get.

Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers (Seeing Series) Cover Image
By Teri Dunn Chace, Robert Llewellyn (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9781604694222
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press - September 24th, 2013