Faculty Spotlight- Marvin Smith

Marvin Smith has taught businesses classes at Chatfield College’s Over-the-Rhine campus since the spring of 2017.  But Marvin is perhaps better-known as a successful and highly respected entrepreneur, having had a stellar career in real estate and real estate development, with a focus on the OTR neighborhood, where he lives and still operates his popular “Ollie’s Trolley” restaurant and catering company. In fact, it was his connection to OTR that led Marvin to Chatfield in the first place—two of Chatfield’s board members thought he would be a good fit and suggested he teach a class. Once Marvin was introduced to Chatfield and its students, he was hooked. In addition to teaching, Marvin mentors, tutors, and volunteers his time to support the students at Chatfield’s Over-the-Rhine (OTR) campus in any way he can. His love and devotion to Chatfield students extends to his personal ambition of making sure everyone is well-fed, and he often donates delicious food for Chatfield events and student activities.

“Being the ‘chef’ that I am, I love Chatfield College and all of its ‘menu ingredients’,” Smith shared.

Dean Peter Hanson explained, “Marvin is always there for Chatfield and our students – both inside and outside the classroom. He is successful and accomplished. His motivation is purely to give back some of his success to those who can most benefit. We are blessed to have him as a part of our family.”

The students echo the words of Dean Hanson. Terry Weathersby, a student of Marvin’s from the OTR campus, says she is thankful for the support and encouragement Marvin has given not only her, but her  classmates as well. Terry is also a member of OTR’s student leadership group, and Marvin has sponsored lunches and refreshments for many of their events.

“He has helped many by showing them the road to their dreams and goals may be bumpy, but those goals are achievable. His support helps to provide a roadmap on how to get there,” said Terry.

Smith is a graduate of Wittenberg University, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University. His teaching experience began during his time in the Air Force, during the Viet Nam era, when he taught aircraft welding to students in Laos, who were beginning to fly and maintain US-built aircraft.

In October 2019, Marvin was awarded Chatfield College’s Dean Agatha Fitzgerald OSU Excellence in Teaching Award and honored at the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection’s (GC3) annual ceremony honoring outstanding teaching, held at Northern Kentucky University. Smith teaches business classes, as well as Cornerstone and Capstone. One of his fellow faculty members, in her nomination of Marvin, said “Marvin invests his whole professional, and even his personal self, into the instruction and, more importantly, development of his students. He is a warm, friendly face to new and returning students. He is a mentor, a leader, and father figure to some.”

“I’m currently in my third year and have enjoyed, actually, loved every minute.  It’s wonderful to use my years of experiences in the business world to encourage my students to continue their education while building a future for themselves, family and society,” said Smith.


Spooky Reads This Halloween

By: Cheyenne Brown, Chatfield student

Now that fall is finally here, Halloween is not far behind! Now would be a great time to visit the library to pick up a spooky book. The Chatfield Library has many books to choose from when it comes to horror, mystery, and thriller. However, if you can’t find one in the library that peaks your interest, the SEO consortium and the Ohio Digital Library have thousands of books to choose from. You can use your student ID and the library website to order books, or just stop by the library circulation desk for assistance.

Here are a few books I have read and that have been recommended to me:

The Long Walk by Stephen King writing as Richard Bauchman

It should come as no surprise that Stephen King’s name is on this list but when it comes to books that will have you hooked from the very beginning, this one is it. This book tells the story of a teenager, Ray Garraty, who wants to participate in the annual test of stamina along with 99 other teenage boys. There are some harsh rules that these boys must follow if they want to be named the winner of “The Long Walk”. If you enjoy reading about dystopian societies and are interested in throwing some thriller aspects into it, this book might just be the one for you.



Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King

Full Dark No Stars is another one of Stephen King’s books that has stuck with me. This book is a collection of four novellas, each one a bit more disturbing than the last. The first is “1922”, which is now a movie on Netflix. “1922” is about a man who lives on a farm with his wife and son, when things take a turn for the worst. A voice begins speaking to the man that he must do whatever is necessary to save his farm, and he does. The next story is “Big Driver”, within this title comes a brutal assault on a writer. This assault transforms the writer and forces her to confront the stranger that now stares back in her reflection. Next, the story of “Fair Extension”, tells the tale of a man who is suffering from a fatal illness and makes a deal with the devil to allow him to have more time on Earth. As we’ve seen in many other stories when it comes to making a deal with the devil, it rarely works out in their favor. The last story is “A Good Marriage”. The story starts with an innocent search for batteries in the garage, but one discovery will turn this marriage upside down.


Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates

Zombie takes you on a stroll through the mind of a serial killer. The story is relatively short but will leave you on edge with every twist and turn, v wondering what the main character “Quentin P.” will do next. Not only telling you about the madness this character is thinking, it also provides you with logical reasoning for why he does it, that’s what makes this story terrifying. This book is also one that is available in the Chatfield College Library.




The Moore House by Tony Tremblay

This is a book that has been recommended to me. It tells the story of three excommunicated nuns that are trying to redeem themselves in the eyes of God by joining a paranormal unit that was warranted by the Catholic Church. Things take a turn for the worst when the nuns come to realize that they are only part of a bigger plan and see their project taking an evil turn. The Horror Fiction Review writes, “I’m a big fan of religious-themed horror, and I enjoyed Tremblay’s approach. With plenty of haunted house mayhem, an interesting cast, and a flawed but likable crew of demon hunters, THE MOORE HOUSE is a fine debut and a quick read to get the chills going.”

Here are a few lists of other books to read to get you in the mood for Halloween season:

13 Creepy Books to Read This October

45 seriously spooky (but not quite scary) books

The Fall Frolic at St. Martin

The Fall Frolic this past Saturday at the St. Martin campus was well attended by many volunteers. Volunteers helping to complete many items on the to-do list included trustees Denny Kiley, Tory Parlin, and Bill Montague with his family. RiverHills Bank came with a team of six, and Chatfield volunteers included Shelia Yates-Mattingly, Pete and Lynn Hanson, Kelly Watson, David Powell, Trevin Simmons and Robert Elmore.

The day started with donuts and coffee provided by Dunkin Donuts in Owensville and ended with lunch provided by RiverHills Bank.  Kibler Lumber provided many of the materials and supplies needed for the work.

The weather was perfect again this year and the participants had a great time frolicking!

Also happening on campus that day, the Brown County Ursuline Alumni Association annual meeting was attended by more than 75 graduates and some of the Ursuline of Brown County Sisters.

View more photos

Chatfield College President Tafaro Announces Retirement

President Tafaro with OTR students at the Reds Opening Day Parade

John P. Tafaro, president of Chatfield College, has announced his retirement after more than ten years in the position.  “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as Chatfield’s fifth president” he explained. “We have a wonderful board, faculty and staff, and it has been an honor to work with so many great people. But my biggest blessing has been to witness education transforming lives for the better. Chatfield College is all about its students, and I have been inspired watching so many students overcome significant barriers to build a better future for themselves and their families.”

The Board will conduct a nation-wide search for Tafaro’s successor, and he will stay on to assist during the transition. Tory Parlin, Vice-Chair of the Chatfield

President Tafaro poses with Sr. Phyllis Kemper and Tafaro Scholar Trent Moore.

Board, who will chair the search

committee, said: “Chatfield is a unique institution, serving a population of students that may have no other option in higher education.  We are confident we will find a replacement for President Tafaro who will continue his work and the Ursuline legacy of service and support that has been Chatfield’s trademark since 1971.” Barry Elkus, of Gilman Partners, has been retained to identify candidates and manage the search.

William Montague, Chatfield’s Board Chair added, “John Tafaro’s tenure at Chatfield has been long and successful. For more than a decade, he has been instrumental in growing our annual fundraising, endowment, and enrollment, resulting in more scholarships and expanded facilities and resources for students at both campuses, including the creation of Chatfield’s state-of-the-art campus in Over-the-Rhine.”

President Tafaro with Bradlee King during his internship with BASF.

Tafaro, 64, is the second-longest serving college president among the 18 regionally accredited colleges and universities in Greater Cincinnati.  A former adjunct instructor at Xavier University, Ohio University, and Tiffin University, as well as an attorney and CEO of several area companies, he plans to do consulting work in higher education and for philanthropic organizations and foundations.

Chatfield College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college offering the Associate of Arts degree in Brown County, Ohio and Cincinnati, and is an open-enrollment college. The Brown County campus is located at 20918 State Route 251; St. Martin, OH 45118; the Cincinnati campus is located in historic Over-the- Rhine at 1544 Central Parkway; Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, visit the website, at, call (513) 875-3344 or e-mail



Student Profile Terry Weathersby

Terry Weathersby, a student at the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) campus, is spending her summer interning with BASF, the world’s largest Chemical Company. BASF is headquartered in Germany, but maintains extensive US operations, including in Wyandot, Michigan, where Terry works.  BASF has been a great partner of Chatfield College over the years, providing funding for the state-of-the-art, BASF science lab at the OTR campus, as well supporting multiple annual scholarships for the past five years.  Terry is the second Chatfield student to receive an internship from BASF.

Terry heard about the internship from her advisor, and after applying, was chosen for the position over many applicants. She has many responsibilities with the company, including working in the Supply Chain, Environmental Health Safety (EHS), and Administrating Management departments. Knowing this internship experience would be great for her resume and future career choice, she also wanted to take advantage of a great new start in the work force, the communication & people skills it would provide, and many good networking opportunities.

Thus far, Terry’s internship has provided her with many useful skills and experiences. In her role in the Supply Chain, Terry imports, separates, dates, and places documents into the correct banker boxes and sends them to Ice Mountain, a vendor that work closely with BASF. With EHS, she makes safety posters for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and is revising the safety grid.  The Administrative Management (AM) aspect of the job calls for her to oversee the documentation and standard operating procedures (SOP) and import them into BASF’s weekly checklist system.

“One of the most challenging parts of the internship is learning all the acronyms the BASF employees speak in daily. Although my days can be very high, I really like my supervisors and fellow employees. Everyone has been understanding and will go out of their ways to help me get the hang of everything,” said Terry.

Terry has had big dreams for her future for years and coming to Chatfield has helped her achieve some of those dreams. Outside of the classroom, Terry is a member of the Student Service Club, which serves the student body as well as the community. Despite her need to overcome physical and emotional obstacles, Terry has not let anything stop her from being an exceptional student. She has been living with Dystonia since she was 13 years old, a disease that affects the cerebellum and the nervous system in the body, causing issues with speech, balance, and gait. The disease has made life difficult for Terry, and many people did not believe she could accomplish in life what she has thus far. And it hasn’t stopped her yet! Earning a college degree will make her dream of getting off welfare a reality, and a dream no longer.

After graduating from Chatfield College, Terry plans to attend mortuary school to train to become a diener.  A diener is a morgue worker responsible for performing after-death procedures on decedents’ remains. Although this career choice may seem unusual to many, Terry finds the science behind it interesting and has planned this to be her future occupation since she was a little girl.

“My future is bright. I’ve had a lot of family support from my four sons, my mother, and my brothers and sisters. I thank them for their love and support by working hard and becoming successful. Coming to college has been a challenge but I like a challenge. I never back down because I know deserve the best,” she said.

Faculty Profile – Kathy Broomall

Kathy Broomall is the Chair of Physical, Life, and Social Sciences at Chatfield College, where she is responsible for all science courses and programs at both the St. Martin and Over-the-Rhine campuses.

Kathy earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Northern Kentucky University and then earned her PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. While teaching at another school, Kathy had students in her class who had previously attended Chatfield. She observed that they were some of the best students in her class, so she became interested in Chatfield. Growing up in a Catholic school setting, she was familiar with Catholic traditions and became eager to learn more about Chatfield and its mission. Since joining the faculty, Kathy has found Chatfield to be a warm and inviting place and she has enjoyed every minute of working with fellow faculty and staff. She finds Chatfield students very receptive and willing to learn, and that makes her teaching very enjoyable.

Kathy explains, “I was educated by the Catholic school system, and I credit this for my academic success! I started my college teaching career more than 10 years ago, at Miami University, where I was mentored by senior professors in best teaching practices at the college level. I love helping students find their academic strength, and I love helping students discover what they are passionate about!”

Kathy enjoys time teaching and educating students on anatomy, biology, chemistry, and other allied health subjects. In addition to her time working directly with students, she loves talking about school and science outside of the classroom and is always looking for opportunities to discuss academia and what new and exciting things are happening at school. She has spent many years teaching science at other colleges including Miami University, UC Clermont, Xavier University, and Sinclair Community College.

During her time at Chatfield, Kathy has become not just an educator to her students, but a friend as well. She holds a special bond with 2018 graduate Sr. Marcelina Watua, from Tanzania. “I adored having Sr. Marcelina in my A & P courses as well as her independent study for the NCLEX Nursing exam that she was studying for last summer. If Sr. Marcelina needs help, I am there for her! She is actually more of a true ‘sister’ to me. I miss her tremendously,” Kathy said. Sr. Marcelina hopes to return to her home village in Tanzania as a nurse who can offer better health care to rural mothers and babies who have poor access to healthcare and clinics.

When asked about Chatfield, the word she used to best describe the overall environment and experience was ‘awesome’. Kathy really enjoys talking about Chatfield to others and learning more about other experiences from faculty and staff. She truly enjoys working with students in order to help them find what they are passionate about, and is excited to see how she can lead more students toward success.

When not cheerleading for Chatfield, Kathy enjoys time with her husband, Avi Milgram, and with her rescue animals including her two dogs, four cats, and two horses.

Gracie Roades to Attend University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning Program

Once Chatfield’s tagline, “Big Dreams Come True Here”, this mantra still rings true. Especially for Gracie Roades, a student of the St. Martin campus who will be attending the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, often known as DAAP, this upcoming fall. The DAAP program is ranked among the best of its kind, not just nationally, but worldwide. Other accolades recently earned by DAAP include BusinessWeek’s Top 30 Design Schools, and International Design Magazine’s globe’s Top 10. U.S. News & World Report ranks UC’s graduate program in design as the sixth best in the nation.

“I honestly cannot wait to start at UC. It is a dream come true for me,” says Gracie. She will be among the few Chatfield students ever to be accepted into DAAP’s very competitive program.

Gracie has always loved art and architecture and credits her father’s real estate flipping business as her inspiration. She plans to become an architectural designer or art curator for museums.  When looking for schools that offer programs in those fields, Gracie knew UC and DAAP would be at the top of her list.

“I visited the DAAP program in the fall and it was the one. The school was phenomenal, and the co-op program is perfect for how I envisioned starting out my career,” she said.

Ranked among the Top 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, UC’s co-op program allows students to alternate classroom time with paid, professional work so students can work around the globe to expand their educational options while building impressive resumes and professional networks.

Gracie will be graduating from both North Adams High School and Chatfield College in just a few short weeks as a result of her participation in Ohio’s College Credit Plus program (CCP).  The CCP program is funded by the State of Ohio and allows high school students to take college courses at no cost to them or their families. Credits earned are easily transferable to the next college of their choosing. During a CCP meeting at her high school, Chatfield’s presentation impressed Gracie and she decided to visit campus. There, she fell in love with the rural and bucolic setting from the minute she drove down driveway lined with ornamental pear trees, and the historic and beautiful Sacred Heart Chapel.

“The landscape of the college is stunning!  It was so peaceful and calm—a perfect fit for what I wanted during my CCP years,” Gracie remembers.

Gracie also really likes the small community feel of her classes, and the opportunity to really get to know her instructors and classmates. She appreciates the small classes because of the one-on-one attention she received, making her feel she was able to learn more as a result. Outside of the classroom, Gracie was able to get involved in some of the clubs on campus. She is a member of the national Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for students of two-year schools, Chatfield’s own Julia Chatfield Honor Society, and the Student Service Club.

“I have been able to expand on my leadership skills while taking advantage of lots of community service opportunities and projects, like the Fall Festival and our current tennis court renovation project. I wouldn’t trade the years I spent here for anything!” she said.

Gracie is very thankful she chose to attend Chatfield as a high school student before enrolling at a large, four-year institution like UC.  In summary, she says, “These years here at Chatfield have greatly affected my education for the better. I feel I am more prepared to move on to the next steps of life because of this college – not only academically, but as a person too. I have made so many great friends I never would have met had it not been for Chatfield.”

Student Profile- Hunter Ellis

Every college campus has them—the student who goes above and beyond, is always busy with some activity or club, and helps rally the other students behind a cause. Hunter Ellis is that student at Chatfield College’s St. Martin campus.

Coming to Chatfield as a College Credit Plus (CCP) student as just a sophomore in high school, Hunter was ready to begin college. He was motivated to take advantage of the CCP program as a freshman because it offers free college credit to high school students, but his mother, a 1999 graduate of Chatfield, thought he should wait another year. Even though Hunter was ready for the challenge of attending college while in high school, he didn’t want to go somewhere big and overwhelming. He found Chatfield to be the perfect fit for him.

“I love the Ursuline legacy at Chatfield, and all the rich history in this beautiful campus. It’s hard not to feel at home when you are here, and family-like atmosphere makes you feel very supported,” Hunter shared.

Once enrolled, Hunter wasted no time in getting involved. As he excelled in academics, he also had a desire to get involved and make connections on campus. Through his couple of years here, the list of clubs in which he was a member continued to grow. Hunter is a member of the national Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Chatfield Historical Society, the Chess Club, the Drama Club, a co-founder of Chatfield Youth Ministries, and the president of Chatfield Student Leadership Club.

Although he is active in all the above-mentioned groups, Hunter has made impressive achievements in Student Leadership. Although this group existed in the past, the goals and mission have been re-envisioned with Hunter’s help. Following his initiative, the group has begun visiting the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Georgetown on a monthly basis, has successfully planned and hosted a Fall festival two years in a row, and continues to offer lunches to students and on-campus activities like this month’s Table Tennis Tournament. One major project with Hunter’s name on it is the revitalization of the tennis court on campus. Many of the proceeds the group has raised are to be dedicated to this effort, along with some grant writing and fundraising by the students themselves.

Hunter said, “I think it’s important we show pride in our campus, and I’m excited to leave something for future students to enjoy after we are gone. The extracurricular activities I have participated in are a big part of my Chatfield experience and help me contribute to something bigger than myself.”

Hunter will graduate from both high school and Chatfield this spring. He plans to continue his education at Xavier University with a focus in politics. He wants to go to law school and one day run for public office, maybe even Senator he says. In the meantime, Hunter would also like to volunteer with local ministries and youth sports leagues.

“The people I have meant during my time at Chatfield, both my instructors and friends, have helped me grow as a person,” Hunter said.

What is Lent and are you ready for it?

By: Allison Carrelli – Fitzpatrick

Hello fellow students and staff! Lent is right around the corner, for those of you who did not know, and for those of you who did, are you ready? If you are like me, this may be the first time you are taking Lent seriously, in the perspective of a young unofficial or official Catholic. I have never been baptized in the Catholic Church, but over the past year or so, I have become more familiar and am growing in my basic knowledge of the Catholic faith.

During my childhood, I never really lived in a religious household, and it was not until I was about thirteen or fourteen, when I truly understood what religion was or who God even was. Up until this point, I always remember Lent as being a random time of the year where on Fridays my mother would try to feed me salmon patties or fried fish—most often against my will. She would often find it a losing battle and settle for accepting a single bite as an accomplishment. As for the Easter holiday itself, most of my childhood memories consisted of large Easter baskets filled with candies and toys galore! Fast forward to now, I have developed an eagerness for this upcoming Lent season from listening to great podcasts and videos about this topic! With my excitement for Lent this year, I want to share what the basics of Lent are and some great resources if you want to learn more!
For those who are new to the topic of Lent and how it is celebrated, Lent is a period over forty days that Catholics fast, obey abstinence, and give alms. The reason behind the forty days is that back hundreds of years ago, the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness for forty years because of their disobedience and unbelief in God. Jesus also spent forty days in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. This time frame of forty days lasts from Ash Wednesday, starting on March 6th until Easter on April 21st. It is during this period that specific days are also celebrated before and within the season of Lent. These days include Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday), Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, and Easter.

Many people don’t relate the two, but Mardi Gras was actually incorporated by Catholics in Rome when Christianity had first arrived there. Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday in French, was a day to feast and celebrate before everyone was to start their fasting. Those who had foods that were rich and not to be eaten during Lent enjoyed them for the last time until after Easter.
Throughout Lent, Catholics are to fast. It may seem like Catholics are to maybe walk around fast or do everything in lighting quick motions. Although that is quite humorous, that is not what fasting is. Fasting is when you only have one large meal, such as a normal dinner or lunch, and two smaller meals that are no bigger than the one meal put together. An example of this is having a slice or two of toast in the morning, a normal proportioned lunch and a small side dish for dinner. When fasting, you are to also practice abstinence by abstaining from any and all meats on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all following Fridays up until Easter. The only exception to the “no meat rule” is fish. That is why you may often see signs around your local town or on the news about fish frys! Along with fasting and abstaining from meats, Catholics also give alms throughout Lent. To give alms means that you donate through an organization or the Church to give to those who are less fortunate. Catholics do this because it reminds them to be humble for the blessings that they have, and it is pleasing to God to give to those who cannot give to themselves.

With all these rules when participating in Lent you may be wondering, why? Why do Catholics obey so many rules for these forty days, and what is the point? I have come to learn that the point in all these rules and the forty-day-long celebration is because of the death and resurrection of Christ. We are to use this time to make ourselves better people from abstaining from certain things to become more humble in the presence of God. Throughout our lives we have been so blessed through Christ’s sacrifice that we have come to mistake the difference between needs and wants. Through abstinence and fasting, we are to become closer to God in understanding that He is the purpose for our lives, and we should hold him close in times of hardship and in times of celebration.

As I’m learning more and more about the Catholic faith, I have found some great resources that I would love to share with all of you! Throughout my search for information, I have found many great resources through our own Chatfield library, YouTube, and even podcasts! For my learning style, I love to listen and see the topics that are being explained to me. The podcast “Pints with Aquinas” by Matt Fradd and the YouTube channel “Ascension Presents” are my go-tos when I have a question or want to learn more about a certain topic. Here is a list of resources if you want to learn more about the Catholic faith!

If you would like to give alms this Lent, I would suggest going to your local Catholic Church or Hope Emergency located on Kernan Road in Lynchburg, Ohio.

Picking a Thing For Lent by Ascension Presents
What’s the Point of Fasting During Lent? by Ascension Presents

10 Things to Give up or Take on this Lent by Pints with Aquinas
Are Sundays Part of Lent? By Pints with Aquinas

Rediscover Lent by Matthew Kelly
Give Up Worry for Lent!: 40 Days to Finding Peace in Christ by Gary Zimak

Libby (e-books):
Signs of Life by Scott Hahn
The Story of Jesus by David Angus

Reads for Black History Month

Black History Month is upon us and with it, the opportunity to pick up a great book by an African American author. The Chatfield College library has many books on African American history, and many by black authors – however a plethora of awesome titles are available to you through the SEO consortium and the Ohio Digital Library. From the recently released The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray to classics like Beloved by Toni Morrison and popular nonfiction books like Hidden Figures, the consortium has got you covered! You can order books online through our website with your student ID, or you can call, email, or stop by the circulation desk for assistance.

At the end of this post I will link several good articles with reading recommendations, but first here’s what’s on my to read list:


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This is a rom-com inspired novel featuring the ever popular “fake dating” turned real. Recommended to me by a coworker, she described it as a fun and quick read. And this is coming from a lady with a reading list a mile long and a tendency to drop a book the moment it loses her interest. This multicultural romance is the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day, and is at the top of my list. If you like this one, the author already has a second book out, with a third to follow later this year.   




The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


This Young Adult novel is the first in a series that is sure to be a massive hit. According to Seira Wilson with the Amazon Book Review:  Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel is the start of what promises to be an epic, addictive new series. The Children of Blood and Bone is influenced by Adeyemi’s West African heritage, and in it she bends religious deities (the Orïsha) and a diverse landscape into a refreshing new take on fantasy. The Children of Blood and Bone is told from multiple points of view, as Inan and Amari, children of the iron-fisted king, and Zélie and Tzain, siblings who have suffered greatly under the king’s regime, find themselves on a dark, magic-filled quest for power. Their journey is accompanied by violence and betrayal, but friendship and even star-crossed love also play a part. Enriched with themes that resonate in today’s social and political landscape, The Children of Blood and Bone takes on injustice, discrimination, and a struggle for change. The action and danger ramp up with each chapter, and I found myself racing through the final pages, holding my breath right up to the cliffhanger ending.” According to a friend of mine, “Read it already.”


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Now a movie starring Amandla Stenburg, The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter after she witnesses the killing of a friend by a white police officer. A fiction account of events that are far too real for many, this book is a timely and necessary read. Several friends of mine found the movie intense and moving, another found the book “heart wrenching and powerful”. The holds line on both the movie and book are long, so if you hope to read or watch it in February, you’d better reserve it through the consortium now. I’m on hold for the audiobook through the Ohio Digital Library.     



The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


A couple of years ago, I was taking an exam in my Human Rights and the Judicial Process class… All was silent except the scrawl of pencils on paper, the ticking of the clock, and the tutting and gasping of my professor as he read this book while we tried to answer essay questions. While it was highly distracting, he can be forgiven –  by all accounts The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the kind of book that elicits reaction. Both he, a retired human rights lawyer, and my mother, a nurse practitioner, feel it is a book that should be read by everyone in their respective professions. It is the most highly recommended book on my list and it is available at the library, so you should come pick it up before I do!


Here are some really good articles to further assist you in picking out just the right book!


These New and Upcoming Books by Black Authors Will Give You Life …


46 Books By Women of Color to Read in 2018 – Electric Literature