BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Someone Like Me by Julissa Arce

Someone Like Me by Julissa Arce Just look at her in this picture. She looks All American, right? The cheerleader with the smiling face, all we'd need to do is to put a plate of apple pie beside her. This is the memoir of an undocumented Mexican immigrant. Her parents brought her to the US so that she would have better educational opportunities, but warns her “you don’t have a social security number and you need to keep that quiet.” She talks about how much she struggled with her parents being gone all the time working to provide for their family, her abusive drunk father, and her struggle to fit in at school in Texas knowing that she has this massive secret about being undocumented. Super interesting inside look at what it’s like to be undocumented.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls This is the prequel to her famous memoir The Glass Castle, and is a fictionalized account of her grandmother Lily’s life. Super interesting and covered Lily’s life from the 1910s through the time when Jeannette Walls herself was born in the 60s. The span of the life she covered has everything that’s true, her grandmother was a rancher, a teacher at age 14, and so many other things. She was a badass before we called women badasses. Great story.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Girl A by Abigail Dean

Girl A by Abigail Dean Super weird but fascinating book. Lex is known as Girl A. When she was 15 her parents took her and her siblings hostage for months they weren’t allowed to leave and were eventually chained to their beds. Lex managed to escape and drew attention to what was going on in the house, and her mother was imprisoned and her siblings were all adopted out to separate families. The trauma is still very much alive in her as an adult, and the story gives us bits and pieces of what happened to her and her family in what is now the “famous” House of Horrors. Awesome read.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.