The Sons of Italy® Book Club is dedicated to the fiction and non-fiction works of Italian American writers who focus on Italian American issues, themes and history.
Preference is given to books published by the major publishing houses (Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin Books, etc.) because such titles are widely available through bookstores nationally and on amazon.com.
Three to four titles are chose each quarter for a total of 12 to 16 titles a year. The selections are posted here and published in Italian America magazine.
We encourage all our chapters around the country to choose one or more of the books each quarter and devote part of their monthly meeting time to discuss it.
Book Club selections are available through local bookstores nationwide.
To order online, click on the "Buy from amazon.com" button next to each book.
Buy ANY product from amazon.com through a partnership with OSIA (and OSIA receives a donation from Amazon for every product sold!)
THE HEART IS THE TEACHER
By Leonard Covello & Guido D’Agostino
A man ahead of his time, Leonard Covello, a New York City teacher and principal (1887-1982), believed in multi-culturalism, especially when it involved his second-generation Italian American high school students who were not even offered Italian as a foreign language during the 1930s. Thanks goes to the Calandra Italian American Institute for reprinting this remarkable educator’s autobiography that tells how an immigrant boy from Campania became the champion of Italian American students and other minorities at a time when this country wanted them to become Americans by being ashamed of their parents and their heritage. A must read! [$18.00; paperback; 220 pages; Calandra Italian American Institute]
THE GLASSBLOWER’S APPRENTICE
By Peter Pezzelli
Fabio Terranova lived to dance until an accident destroyed his dream of leaving his mountain town in central Italy to star on Broadway. Instead, he finds himself shipped off by his mother to an uncle in Rhode Island where he is forced to learn the art of glassblowing. His uncle also immigrated to America many years earlier for mysterious reasons. Set in the present-day, the novel harks back to the timeless struggles and triumphs that everyone meets traveling through life. On his journey, Fabio learns to live with his heartbreak and find joy in the new direction his life has taken. [$29.95; hardcover; 264 pages; West Passage Publishing]
THE PARTISANS: SONS & DAUGHTERS
By Peter Drago
This gripping novel is based on fact: the little-known story of how Italian men and women partisans assisted the Allies and fought the Nazis, who were occupying their country during the last two years of WWII. Theirs was a true “civil war” that took place in Italy’s cities, towns, mountains and countryside. Fighting with stolen weapons and often little food or protection from the elements, over 35,000 Italian partisans smuggled weapons, set up spy networks, and found safe houses to hide Jews and escaped political prisoners. Many gave up their lives to free Italy. Author Drago mixes fact and fiction to tell their story. [$16.95; paperback; 301 pages; amazon.com]
SPORT AND THE SHAPING OF ITALIAN AMERICAN IDENTITY
By Gerald R. Gems
Sports helped many Italian immigrants assimilate and when they succeeded they gave a sense of pride to millions of their transplanted countrymen. In the process, sports helped these immigrants from Italy’s many small towns and villages develop a sense of national identity as Italians rather than Sicilians, Calabresi, Neapolitans, etc. This well-researched book describes how that important and remarkable transformation occurred. [$45.00; hardcover; 336 pages; Syracuse University Press]
OUR ITALIAN SURNAMES
By Joseph G. Fucilla
Most Italian Americans know who they were named for, but how many of us know where our last names come from? Thank Prof. Fucilla for supplying the answers. His was the first comprehensive collection of thousands of Italian surnames, their origin and history. Published in 1949 and still available through Amazon.com, his classic is essential for both scholars and amateur genealogists. [$29.95; hardcover; also in paperback and Kindle; 300 pages; Genealogical Publishing Company]