The book I chose this year is Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat and Other Stories—I chose this collection of short stories because I believe that short stories are a wonderful genre to use to get new or not so avid readers interested in literature. Lee creates a variety of interesting characters in her work that present the reader with all kinds of questions on what it means to be human, and I think there is a story in her collection for every reader.
I chose to be involved in World Book Night because I believe that a love of reading is crucial for success in almost every discipline. Reading is a fundamental part of our experience as humans, and an invaluable tool for us to use when trying to make sense of the human experience. So many people claim to hate reading, but how can anyone hate something that has the power to take us to another world, change our way of thinking, and bring so much joy, all at the same time? I hope to give my books out to people who claim to hate reading–hopefully this book will change their minds!
Every year, on April 23rd, passionate volunteers from around the world promote literacy by handing out copies of books in their communities. The authors waive their rights to royalties, and the publishers produce the books for free. Each year, World Book Night puts half a million books into the hands of people who benefit from them. IU East has 28 volunteers this year – our second year to participate in spreading literacy through World Book Night.
But it’s more than just handing out free books to people who don’t have them. These volunteers select books they personally care about and have made a personal connection to, and share them with people in their own community. It’s sharing a deep love of reading, as much as it is sharing ink and paper, and that’s what makes it so special.
I selected the Walter Dean Myers’ book, Sunrise over Fallujah. When I taught at Richmond High School, Myers’ writing style and content helped my young male students connect with reading. I’ll be distributing the books to English teachers at Richmond High School to help them provide reading material to students who may be unable to pay off their library fines in a timely manner (i.e., quickly enough to be able to check out a book for their Outside Reading assignments).
Maureen and I selected Richmond High School to support high school students who may not have ready access to books for personal reading. We will be giving the books to the CIS staff so that they can distribute them to students.
In addition to Emily, Cherie, and Marilyn, our volunteers this year include Angela Addison, Frances Addison, Ann Branson-Tobin, Ashlee Brown, Katelyn Brown, Jamie Buffington-Adams, David Chupp, John Dalton, Lori Dilworth, Chase Eversole, Richard Goss, Belynda Grays, Rachel Hughes, Jenie Lahman, Jeffrey Locke, Wazir Mohamed, Dianne Moneypenny, Lisa Morgan, Christine Nemcik, Steven Petersheim, Sharon Stoten, Denice Williams, Frances Yates, Sean Yates, and Kathryn Yohey.
Books they are sharing include The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, After the Funeral by Agatha Christie, The Ruins of Gorlan: The Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 1 by John Flanagan, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, Pontoon by Garrison Keillor, Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim, Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee, Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean, Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers, The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan, The Raven’s Warrior by Vincent Pratchett, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Cuando Era Puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago, When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago, Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Large Print edition) by Maria Semple, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, and This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff.
The Library and Center for Service Learning at IU East are grateful to these volunteers for their passion for reading and enthusiasm for serving their community. Thank you all so much!
Do you have any questions about World Book Night? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org