New and popular titles at Juniata County Library

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A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

For those of you who read the haunting “Missoula,” by John Krakauer, you will find interest in this book. In today’s #MeToo environment that is pushing back against sexual harassment and related crimes, it is difficult to avoid these topics permeating nearly every age group and vocation. In “A False Report,” we follow the complex account of a young rape victim and the investigators who fought for her justice. The victim’s testimony of her violent sexual abuse at knifepoint became sullied with uncertainty as different renditions sprung forth about the night in question. Her shocking, tearful retraction of the entire event sealed her fate in the eyes of police and the surrounding community, branding her a liar. Fast forward two years and a similar rape case has an eerie resemblance to the first case. Coinciding details and suspicions were shared between the two different detectives and the first case was reopened. These developments also reclassified the perpetrator as a serial rapist responsible for multiple attacks and a penchant for blackmailing his victims with compromising photographs that would be shared online.

What this book accomplishes is combining diligent, collaborative detective work, a chilling true-crime documentary and a report on how cops investigate sex crimes, the varying approaches on interrogation techniques, and the ultimate apprehension of violent criminals. I have discovered that sex crimes seem to be handled differently than nearly any other crime. If you were the victim of a robbery or an assault, would you feel it right to be questioned and treated as if it was your fault that you were robbed of your belongings or beat up?

The authors intertwine throughout the book personal histories of the victims, the career paths of the law enforcement official’s involved as time goes on, startling statistics on rape victims, and why the broad skepticism and credibility issues encompassing accusers remains a problem. “A False Report” is a raw and difficult but necessary read. You can find this book in the New Adult Nonfiction section.

“No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Kathleen Krull and Nancy Zhang

Can you believe that Justice Ginsburg is only the second female justice ever on the U.S. Supreme Court? “No Truth Without Ruth” is a great read that details the many obstacles to success Ruth and women of all ages face through life. Girls in orthodox Jewish families like Ginsburg’s were expected to marry young and support their husbands’ careers. Her mother had followed that path, but she wanted Ruth to have the opportunities she missed. Ruth was determined to be all that her mother had dreamed for her. Krull follows Ruth as she finds a way to succeed in a world in which girls were supposed to hide their intelligence and had limited opportunities for careers. She was passionate about learning and “scary smart,” and she was impressed by those who stood up for themselves and for fair treatment of all people. She faced and overcame discrimination on account of her faith and her gender. Large, colorful illustrations complement and highlight the texts on each page. Zhang captures the look and style of each era in Ginsburg’s life, subtly altering her appearance as she grows older. Naming Ginsburg a “change-maker,” Krull optimistically states that women “used to face unfairness” and that society now takes equality for granted. Employing a strongly admiring tone and accessible language, the author emphasizes Ginsburg’s struggles, strengths, and triumphs, shouting key points in large, bold, stand-apart typeface. As you can see in the news recently that Ruth is back to styling the hair scrunchie, you can read this book and smile knowing that her spirit is one of a kind in America.

You can find this movie in the New Kids Picture Book section.


Vince Giordano has been the director of the Juniata County Library since 2015.