Celebrate diversity with inspiring reads
What do most people think of when they hear the word "library"? Reading, of course! 2014 is the year to "Reconnect with Reading 365" at the Cuyahoga County Public Library. To celebrate this initiative, the Bay Village Branch Library staff and customers will be sharing our suggestions from various genres each month here in the Observer.
"Walk a mile in my shoes!" When was the last time you heard that common saying? While we can’t usually follow in the footsteps of a person from another kind of family, culture or race, we can all broaden our awareness through reading. Here are some books enjoyed by Bay Villagers that you might like to try:
Amelia, grade 8, liked "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio, a book about a 10-year-old boy born with extreme facial abnormalities who not only survived, but thrived. She liked how the story of his life was told from the perspectives of family members and friends. She also liked "Thura’s Diary: My Life in Wartime Iraq" by Thura Al-Windawi that tells the story of a girl in Baghdad starting just before American bombs begin to drop on her city.
Annalise, grade 6, really liked the book "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green; she said it was an amazing book! It told a totally different kind of story than she was accustomed to – a love story about two teens with cancer; she’d never read a book like that before. She also liked "This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl," written by Esther Earl, the girl who inspired John Green’s book. It has entries from her diary and photos of its pages.
As for me, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah was the most memorable I have read in a long time. At the age of 12, this child was on the run trying to survive in the jungle while caught in the everyday horrors of civil war in Sierra Leone. What this young African boy endures and then what he does with his life, is an amazing true story.
The Pura Belpre award, which is presented by the America Library Association annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth this year went to Meg Medina for her book "Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass."
It is written in the voice of Latino Piedad Sanchez, a sophomore starting a new school in Queens, New York. Although the book centers on high school bullying, Meg says, "I meant it to be about how a Latina here in the United States stays connected with her culture and finds her clave – that unshakable sense of herself – so that she can dance over the world’s troubles no matter how heavily they are heaped on her."
There are many wonderful books, fiction and non-fiction alike, about people from diverse backgrounds, the "shoes they’ve worn" and what they have done with the experiences life has dealt them.
To conveniently check on these titles and many others, download the CCPL Mobile App – available for most smart phones and tablets. You can search the catalog, check your account and renew items, as well as scan your items and check out right on your device.
Remember to check the Observer next month to see What Your Neighbors are Reading on the October theme – Eek! Spooky Tales – and visit the Bay Village Branch, 502 Cahoon Road, where the staff would be very happy to give you personal reading recommendations too. We hope to see you soon!
WHAT YOUR NEIGHBORS ARE READING
at the Bay Village Branch Library
September theme: Celebrate Diversity
Sue Grame is the Teen Librarian at the Bay Village Branch Library.