We'll warn you: Push ($10) is an emotionally challenging, gut-wrenching read. We wanted to read it before going to see the much buzzed-about movie, Precious, starring Gaboury Sidibe and Mo'Nique, and aren't sorry we did. Written from the point of view of the main character, Precious Jones, the dialogue is halting and poetical all at once, as she endures almost unthinkable abuse at the hands of her mother, father, and nearly everyone around her. Precious is finally offered hope in the form of a teacher who helps her learn to read, encourages her to put her feelings down in a diary, and enrolls her in a basic skills class. We could easily write a thesis-length post on the many layers of meaning in this intense book, but suffice it to say, if you haven't read Push, go do so. Now.

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