Father’s Day is just around the corner! Do you have a dad in your life who’s difficult to shop for? Maybe it’s cliche (but not as cliche as a tie!), but we tend to hit the bookstore when we’re struggling to shop for the men in our lives. Check out our Editor-in-Chief’s picks for best books for dads this Father’s Day season.


The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

While you’re devouring the Hulu series every week, the dad in your life may be giving you the side eye. But, it’s time for him to wake up and pick up the classic (and amazing) book on which the series is based. It’s 2017. The “woke” dad in your life needs to add this to his reading list STAT.

 

 


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Dyson

Do you have a socially conscious non-fiction lover in the family? Examining poverty in our country, and how our biased , this Pulitzer prize-winning book follows eight Milwaukee families struggling to keep a roof over their heads. This may not be an easy read, but it’s an important one. It should be at the top of everyone’s reading list.

 


Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance

Excerpts of this book made the rounds on social media around election time, as a possible explanation of how working class white voters turned their backs on the Democratic party. This book, part memoir, part social commentary, illustrates how poor white families in struggle through poverty, addiction, and social isolation. Called “a meditation on the loss of the American Dream,” this book pulls back the curtain on a population of Americans that many of us fail to consider or understand.

 


Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer, Whitehead’s epic novel turns the metaphor of the “underground railroad” into an actual system of tunnels and tracks underneath the Southern soil. The protagonist, Cora, a slave at a cotton plantation in Georgia, embarks on an epic journey to freedom that rips open the struggle out of bondage and exposes the dark underbelly of the history that we share.

 

 


Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, by Nathaniel Philbrick

Yeah, yeah, Benedict Arnold was a traitor, but the truth of the story is a bit more complicated. Arnold was a war hero before he was a traitor, and his relationship with George Washington was a complicated one. Add to that the influence of Arnold’s Loyalist second wife, Peggy, unpaid debts, corrupt politicians, a lost fortune to the cause, and you have a recipe for disaster. This amazing work of non-fiction explores Benedict Arnold’s traitorous actions and how a once steadfast revolutionary became our country’s most famous traitor.


Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and the Stifling of Democracy, by Lewis Lapham

Published way back in 2005, this book has never been more relevant than it is today. Written against the back drop of the original “War on Terror” waged after 9/11, Gag Rule discusses the strangling of meaningful dissent at the hands of a government and media increasingly beholden to the wealthy few. Lapham argues (back in 2005, mind you), that never before have voices of protest been so locked out of the mainstream conversation by a government that recklessly disregards civil liberties.

 


Mollie Michel, Editor-in-Chief of A Child Grows USA, is a South Philly resident and a Philadelphia public school parent. A recovering non-profit professional, Mollie is also an experienced birth doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, and the mom of two awesome girls and a sweet pit bull named Princess Cleopatra. In her spare time, she is usually trying to figure out how Pinterest works, training for a(nother) half-marathon with her dog at her side, or simply trying to keep up with her increasingly wily daughters.