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Karen Pulfer Focht karenpulferfocht@gmail.com 901-331-7934 or Dawn.Majors@tn.gov

In honor of International Literacy Day on September 8, the Girls Inc. staff all pick their favorite books and explain what makes them so special. After all, every girl needs a favorite book!

Jessica Morris – It’s hard to narrow it down, but one of my favorite books is A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s a YA novel that I first read when I was about 12, but I’ve continued rereading it over the years because it’s such a beautiful story about love, death, and growing up—plus dolphins!

Candice Lofton – I have quite a few favorites, but I’d say my favorite book at the moment is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I love this one because, though nonfiction, it’s written in a fictional tone with a great storyline, and it also drops subtle lessons about life, love, and happiness that can resonate with people of all ages and walks of life. It’s actually really upbeat and insightful.

Maggie Butchko – I love Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I liked how it goes from story to story, and perspective to perspective. I like books where you’re not sure what’s going on so that I can try to figure it out on my own. And I love when mysteries surprise me at the end, which this one did.

Donielle Thomas – My favorite book currently is Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst (father/daughter duo). This book will “remind women of their calling from God to be free, delivered, healed and to have hope’. It encourages and promotes women to be confident and strong in who they are—in Christ. In a sense, this book empowers women to be strong, smart and bold—and live victoriously and successfully in Christ!

Patricia Wachtel – My favorite book is Jane Eyre which I first read in grade school. I was captured by the drama and romance of the story. I loved the beautiful use of language—and the happy ending. Jane Eyre was a catalyst for me to a lifelong love of reading. After a house fire in 2010, it was the first book I replaced in my personal library.

Nakisha Jones – I love reading but with my hectic schedule, I haven’t had to opportunity to read a great book just for fun. I do read to my 5-year-old son frequently during the week and one of his favorite books is Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses. My son and I love this book because it talks about how you could be having a bad day, and after putting on the “cool, blue, magic sunglasses” everything changes for the positive.

Paige Dempsey – I have a lot of favorites, but probably the book I’ve loved most in my life is River Secrets by Shannon Hale. I first read it in middle school and loved it because it’s about friendship, magic, and accepting yourself for who you are.

Shannon CochranThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my favorite because there’s action, adventure, fantasy, a great plot, and a powerful meaning to the story. Of the series, it’s the one that pulls everything together, yet you can read it alone and it’s still a great book. If you’ve never read it, I’d definitely recommend it!

Mackenzie Cain – One of my favorite books is Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. I first watched her TED talk and was inspired by her challenge to “lean in” to challenges and risks. She uses a witty demeanor to talk about what women do and don’t do that jeopardize their leadership potential in both the workplace and at home.

Natalie WoodsThe Color of Water By James McBride. The book is a memoir of the life of author James McBride and it talks about the struggles of a single mother raising 12 bi-racial children in New York. Despite all the hardship, challenges, suffering, and poverty this family went through all 12 kids went to college. I love the book because it walks through not only the mom’s struggles but also the struggles of the kids. It shows how they were are able to overcome the challenges they faced.

Joi Smith – The title of my book is The Measure of Our Success by Marian Wright Edelman.  This book offers 25 lessons for life but more importantly emphasizes the importance of our roles as adults in the lives of children.  As a lifelong advocate for the well-being of children, this book provided me with inspiration for my career in youth services.

What are your thoughts? Share below!

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