we are fully in person. hope to see you in the library at lunch!
favorite book I read this summer? The Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder.
Come by this week and let us know what yours was? Check out our newest books here.
consider reading. here are some ideas to get started:
grab free books from the lobby. build a home library.
sign up on Sora for audiobooks all summer long.
check out books on a topic that interests you for summer check out in the library.
Create your own Book Club with the selections below. Come grab a copy of one in the library, behind Lissa’s desk:
i am midway through “when we make it” by brooklyn born boricua and amazing poet-author ELISABET VELASQUEZ. this book is so truthful that it makes you realize how unseen our lives can be sometimes. it follows two sisters in bushwick in the 1980s-90s (?), growing up, and making things work with their mother, their hopes, their faith (and doubts), their day-to-day, apt-to-apt life seeing as much of what to do as what NOT to fall into. readers witness underreported loyalties and beauty, as well as the difficulties navigating poverty. i hope you can borrow it in person. here are some knock-out lines:
The people in the streets / have their own story to tell.
& I’m writing my own story / so I can remember it accurately.
in case someone else / tries to tell it for me.”page 52
Professional Spanish is fake friendly. / Is a warning.
Is a downpour when you / just spent your last $20 on a wash and set.
Is the kind of Spanish that comes / to take things away from you.”page 145
Here are some of our folks at home, reading and participating in all things bookish. In our 3-day intensive, we had discussions on Meet, chatrooms, and reflected on our books via mindmaps and beautiful long pages of writing. Our Read-a-thoners created two collective poem, and you can see their book picks!
“A Month” by the Read-A-Thoners, composed 4/16:
Looking out, looking in
Distancing and connection
Insanity Peace Change
Our collective quote poem, “Snatches of Truth”:
‘What should I believe?’ thought Shadow, and the voice came back to him from somewhere deep beneath the world, in a bass rumble: ‘Believe everything.’” (American Gods by Neil Gaiman-Matthew)
“It’s like I’ve been walking up the walls of a tower my whole life,” “My body parallel to the ground, and then, the world turns and I’m standing straight up, and the tower is lying flat on the ground. Everything is now distorted but my head is up again, and I’m walking forward. But the truth is, I don’t know which way is up.” (Braised Pork by An Yu–Hayden)
“The boy knelt by the hearth, his jacket sleeves rucked up on his wrists like an accordion.” (Anarchists’ Club by Alex Reeve–Nick)
“Dusk is an uncomfortable time, the way the light is.” (Klickitat by Peter Rock-Lissa)
“Just a little bomb and all these people would be gone…” (Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie–Cash)
“In major cities wracked by the drug war, [4 of 5] young African-American men are subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives” (The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander–Olivia)
“You get to the other side of the tightrope….” (Love Hurts by Rodro Linzler–Desiree)
“I was living in a self-destructive riot of sensuality, and while my schoolmates saw me as a leader, a devil of a fellow and a damned sharp and clever guy, deep inside me hid a timid soul fluttering with fear” (Demian by Herman Hesse–Hannah)
Come check out the new library books at City-As’s library media center in 407. Come browse and borrow a book for the mid-Winter break Feb. 19 – Feb. 23!
Dre is in high school and needs a kidney transplant fast, and LeVon, his drug-dealing half-brother is the only one who has his same blood type and can save his life. They have the same father. Dre has been told that his half-brother is no good and to stay away from him all his life. Now they need LeVon. If you like emotional stories and stories that cut through stereotypes this is a book for you. On the outside, LeVon is a destroying his life and lives of those around him. But if you read this book, you will see who LeVon is on the inside.
This is a window into one of JW’s most magical short novels, a novel in verse, written as a series of poems, but poems that tell the story of Lonnie:
Lonnie’s mom and dad died in a fire. His little sister now lives with a rich family far away. Lonnie is with Miss Edna. Still living in Brooklyn, still going to school, writing poetry in Ms. Marcus’s class, trying to make sense of what has happened. This excerpt is Lonnie remembering his mother–her voice and her story about him being born premature and nearly not making it, as she is cooking up a chicken:
“Mama cut the wing off the chicken, rinsed
it under the faucet, patted it dry–real gentle
like she was deep remembering.
So I hoped and prayed and sat by that tiny
baby every hour of every day for weeks
and more weeks. Doctors said it’s his lungs,
they’re just not ready for the world yet. Can’t
take a breath in. Can’t let one out. So I breathed
for you, trying to show you how, I
prayed to those lungs, Mama said. Grow!
The chicken was cut up, spiced up, dipped
in flour and ready to fry. mama touched each piece
still real gentle before she slipped it into the hot
oil. Then you were four pounds, five pounds, six pounds
bigger than this chicken. My big little baby boy
not even two months old and already
a survivor.” (p. 74)
Author Patty Blount came to visit our school December 18th, 2015. She talked about what inspired her to write Some Boys, or as she put it what pissed her off so much. She got fed up at a 50-something year-old man getting 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old. She shared a lot of her thinking about what contributes to rape culture. Women’s feelings of shame and women’s bodies being treated as objects contribute, as does victim blaming and not believing people when they say they have been assaulted. Sexual assault occurs to 1 in 5 women and to 1 in 33 men.
We talked about Grace’s strength to confront all the harassment and humiliation at school when she does not retract her accusation that Zac, the captain of the lacrosse team raped her on a date. The book is told in two alternating points of view: Grace’s and Ian’s, Zac’s best friend. There are themes of truth and what constitutes the truth. We don’t really know who is telling the truth until the end, and then the evidence is irrefutable.
I think we can all be transformed by books….Reading Some Boys made us see how writing can help us heal. It helps us to organize all that messiness of life and put it behind us. One of the strongest messages I heard was to make more of an effort to believe our friends if they come to us and tell us they have been sexually assaulted, and support them, and not participate in behaviors that put unnecessary pressures on men to be masculine/sole providers and or on women to be trophies/objects/possessions to be had. Also to realize that if this has happened to us, it is not because we were “asking for it.” No. No one asks to be raped.
Thank you, Patty!
Watch Marielle’s book trailer: Secret Santa!
Sometimes it is better to give than receive.
Watch Lisa’s book trailer: whip it!