Silicon Valley Reads Focuses on “Journey to New Beginnings” – The Mercury News
Silicon Valley Reads will embark on a “Journey to a New Beginning” next year, when the community reading program celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Jennifer Weeks, County Librarian for the Santa Clara County Library District, said the theme for 2023 reflects the steps Silicon Valley Reads has already taken over the past two decades.
“We started as a one-book, one-community program in 2003 and over the years have expanded our reach to become more inclusive and reflect the many communities that make up Silicon Valley,” said Weeks, co-chairman of Silicon Valley Reads. , in a report.
The program offers Santa Clara County residents the opportunity to read selected books around the year’s theme and attend author talks and other events, including panel discussions, educational events , demonstrations, performances, adult classes, student activities, story hours and an in-person art exhibit.
Next year’s kickoff is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2023 with an in-person, live event featuring star authors Tommy Orange, Amanda Skenandore and Kai Harris at the Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater at De Anza College in Cupertino.
Orange’s novel ‘There There’ follows 12 characters from Native American communities who all travel to the great Oakland powwow and are all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. . The novel focuses on the plight of urban Native Americans grappling with a complex and painful history. “There There” won the 2019 PEN/Hemingway Prize and the 2018 National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
In Skenandore’s “The Second Life of Mirielle West”, the glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife comes crashing down when she is detained at the Carville Lepers Home. Set in 1920s Louisiana and Los Angeles and based on the true story of mainland America’s only leper colony, the novel brings to life the Louisiana institution where thousands were stripped of their rights. civilians, labeled as lepers and forcibly quarantined throughout the 20th century. .
The protagonist of Harris’ “What the Fireflies Knew” is 11-year-old Kenyatta Bernice, or KB. This coming-of-age novel follows KB and his teenage sister, Nia, as they are sent to live with their estranged grandfather after their father dies and their home is lost. The novel addresses themes of family, identity, and race.
“These three novels each present unique journeys that act as mirrors or windows to our diverse community,” said City of San Jose Library Director Jill Bourne, another co-chair of Silicon Valley Reads. “Some people can relate to the plight of the characters, and others will discover unique perspectives.”
For young readers, Silicon Valley Reads has selected four companion books around this year’s theme: “Coqui in the City” by Nomar Perez, in Spanish and English for preschoolers; “Sugar in Milk” by Thrity Umrigar for grades two through four; “When Stars are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed for students in grades 5-8; and “Furia” by Yamile Saied Mendez for high school students.
Silicon Valley Reads is presented annually by the Santa Clara County Library District, Santa Clara County Office of Education, and San Jose Public Library in conjunction with other public libraries, community colleges and universities and community organizations.
In addition to Bourne and Weeks, the co-chairs of the program are Santa Clara County Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan and City of San Jose Library Assistant Director Michelle Ornat.
While community engagement is at the heart of Silicon Valley Reads, Dewan said the educational component of the program is equally important.
“Silicon Valley Reads helps increase literacy and demonstrates the importance of books, writing and conversation for schools, parents, children and the community,” Dewan said in a statement.
A full calendar of events should be published in early January on SiliconValleyReads.org. In response to participant feedback from the past two years, Silicon Valley Reads will continue to offer virtual options in 2023.