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Read Across Lawrence

Activism, Protest, and Change

America has a long tradition of political activism and protest, but it’s not always clear whether these methods of dissent can create real and lasting change.

In the wake of recent national and campus-wide protests, on Wednesday, Mar 1 at 7 PM in our Auditorium we’ll discuss protest’s place in our democracy with an interdisciplinary panel of KU faculty. Presented in partnership with the KU Honors Program.

This event is free and open to the public and is offered in connection with Lawrence Public Library’s NEA Big Read/Real Across Lawrence community novel, Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies.

An Interview with Kelly Jones

Chickens with superpowers, a farm full of junk to explore, and a series of mysterious typewritten letters are just a few of the wonders within this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Kids title, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones.  Jones, who recently answered a few of my questions about the book, will be available via Skype at the library on Sunday, February 19th, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to answer more questions from kids (between bites of free pizza donated by Rudy’s).  Join us for this and the other events we’ve put together this month with the help of KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library to celebrate this unique book. Read More..

Multicultural Storytime: Dominican Republic

Our all-ages storytime on SAT, Feb 18 at 1 PM in our Readers’ Theater features the Dominican Republic!

Learn to dance the merengue, hear stories in English and Spanish, and try new snacks you’ve maybe never eaten before!

Julia Alvarez: Woman, Writer, Activist

On Sunday, March 5 at 7 PM at the Lied Center, our NEA Big Read/Read Across Lawrence ends on the highest of notes with a visit from the writer herself, Julia Alvarez.

Author of 19 books and three collections of poetry, Alvarez will talk about her books, in particular, In the Time of the Butterflies and Return to Sender, and what it means to be a citizen of the world as a woman, writer, and activist.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. Lobby opens at 6 PM. The Lied Center is located at 1600 Stewart Drive, Lawrence, KS.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julia Alvarez is the recipient of two Pura Belpre awards and the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. She was born in New York City, and spent her early childhood in the Dominican Republic. Her family was forced to flee in 1960 because of her father’s participation in an attempt to overthrow the country’s military dictator, Rafael Trujillo. She returned to New York as a ten year old and turned to books and writing to cope with language and culture barriers she faced upon returning to the land of her birth.

“Lawrence Public Library and its partners were among 75 groups nationwide to receive a Big Read Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This is a huge honor and the first time that Lawrence has earned this grant, which makes it possible to bring Ms. Alvarez to Lawrence. KU Libraries look forward to sharing the scholarship and collections of our Latin and Caribbean Studies scholars through the collaborative programming being developed for the Lawrence community,” said Sarah Goodwin Thiel, Head of KU Libraries’ Center for Community Engagement.


Offered in partnership with KU Libraries, the KU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Lied Center of Kansas. NEA Big Read is program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

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Help Children in Need During Read Across Lawrence

Though it is billed as the “teen” Read Across Lawrence pick, Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez is a highly recommended read for adults as well. Told through alternating perspectives, it is a story of friendship and conflict between teens from two different worlds, their families, and their communities. Tyler is the son of a Vermont dairy farm family in need of assistance in order to save their farm. Mari is the eldest daughter in a family of migrant workers who come to work for them. When Tyler learns that Mari’s family is in the country illegally and that his parents knew this when they were hired, the first of many questions about right and wrong surrounding immigration is raised. The reader must come to their own conclusions, though, as Return to Sender doesn’t provide any easy answers.

Return-to-Sender

Miriam Wallen, Young Adult Librarian and coordinator for the Teen Zone, encourages readers to be inspired into action and help in sending books to immigrant children in the United States. Throughout the month of February, we will be collecting small donations to help purchase Spanish language and dual-language children’s books that will be sent to groups who work with immigrant children, especially with those traveling alone.

This book drive was inspired by REFORMA, a part of the American Library Association, and its Children in Crisis Program. REFORMA sends books to charities that work with immigrant children, as well as to border patrol facilities and pro-bono legal representatives.

You can read more about their activities in these articles:

If you would like to contribute, look for the donation box at any Read Across Lawrence/ Big Read teen or adult programs. Alternatively, you can check out the list of requested books here or donate any Spanish Language or dual-language (Spanish and English) books you don’t need. Just drop them off in the Teen Zone!

If you are interested in more books about teen immigrant stories like Return to Sender, to read or discuss with your community, you can find some here!

In the words of REFORMA member and author Lucía M González:

“Un libro es un compañero que te da luz y cobijo”

(“A book is a companion that gives you light and shelter”)

-Kate Gramlich is a Reader’s Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.

(header img by Phil Roeder)

Adult NEA Big Read Kick-off

We’re so excited to read together! On Saturday, Feb 4 from 11 AM–12 PM, snag your very own copy of the NEA Big Read adult book, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, sip some Dominican coffee, enjoy pastries, and hear about all the great events we have planned for you through March 5.

Meet up in the Auditorium! First come, first served!

 

A Magical RAL Kids Kick-off Party

Our month-long community read for kids starts with magic and free books! See Korso the Curious and hear what we have in store for Kids RAL 2017!

On SaturdayFeb 4 from 2-3 PM in the Auditorium, kids ages 7-11 can get a free copy of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones while supplies last.

Prepare For the Worst—And Enjoy Every Moment of It!

Let’s say that a sudden accident has left you stranded and alone on a faraway planet (Does this scenario ring some bells? If not, come by the Library to check out a copy of this year’s Read Across Lawrence pick, Andy Weir’s The Martian). How on (off?) Earth are you going to get out of this predicament?

Between you and me, if you find yourself in this situation, you’re going to wish you had spent some time at the library, because it’s knowledge and know-how that can give you a fighting chance. Want to study up in case you find yourself involved in an interplanetary mishap? I’ve got a few reading suggestions to get you started! Read More..

Reading Across the Galaxy with Adam Rex

Road trips don’t get much stranger than the one 11-year old Gratuity Tucci must make, accompanied by a soap-eating alien named J-Lo, in this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Kids title, The True Meaning of Smekday.  But author and illustrator Adam Rex, whose “divinely demented” sensibility has entertained children and adults alike for over a decade, rarely stays on the map.

Rex, who will join us via Skype on February 27th to crown a month of events we’ve put together with the help of KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library, recently answered a few questions about his book, free copies of which will be distributed (along with pizza, but not soap) to kids at the kickoff party on January 30th.  Read More..

If you like Chasing Vermeer…

So you loved Chasing Vermeer, but now you’re looking for a new book to read? We’re on the case with recommendations with books full of art, mysteries, and puzzles!

There are plenty of books to keep you guessing, with missing paintings, art heists, and even paintings as portals to another world. Or maybe you’d like a book with codes to solve or secret societies, treasure hunts, or missing magicians. Find them all in the catalog!

Read More..