Cause for Celebration!
This week is an official week of celebration. In the library world, we celebrate April 13-19th as National Library Week. It is a time to celebrate any and all libraries, the NSVRC library included! To commemorate National Library Week, I’d also like to mention Teen Literature Day. It just so happens, that Teen Literature Day falls on April 17th, which is positively perfect considering it all fit quite well into Sexual Assault Awareness Month and gave me my newest blog idea.
Literacy in general is an important subject to promote and the reason I chose to pursue the library field. I have made it my goal to do what I can to support and promote libraries and reading. The NSVRC library has several fabulous fiction stories that most definitely would appeal to teens and young people, as well as adults. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros brings to light the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. Her story is sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes joyous. Told in a series of vignettes, the audience sees a young woman discovering who and what she will become. The House on Mango Street appeals to readers of all levels, whether grade school or college students.
Push by Sapphire is also another great work of fiction. In this story the reader meets Precious Jones, an illiterate sixteen-year-old, who has up until now been invisible. She has been invisible to the father who rapes her, to the mother who beats her and to the authorities who think little of her. Things begin to change for Precious, who while pregnant with a second child by her father, meets a determined teacher. The audience then follows Precious on a journey of education and enlightenment. Precious learns how to write about her life and about how to make it her own.
Also by Sapphire comes a story about body and spirit. The Kid introduces us to Abdul Jones, who is forced to confront unspeakable violence, his history, and the dark corners of his own heart. As Abdul makes his way toward adulthood, he is able to obtain an identity he can stand behind. The Kid tells of a young man’s fight to find a way toward the future. It is a testament to the human spirit and the deep power of love and of art.
One last read I’d like to highlight is A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison. Through this story we meet 17-year-old Ahalya Gahai and her 15-year-old sister Sita, who have been left orphaned and homeless. With everyone they know gone, they begin walking to the convent where they attend school. Along the way hey are abducted and forced into the horrible depths of the sex trade. Meanwhile attorney Thomas Clarke, living in Washington D.C., decides to take a break from his work to pursue work in India for an NGO that prosecutes human traffickers. It is there that he sees first-hand the horrors of the sex trade and where he learns of Ahalya and Sita. He then makes it his goal to rescue them.
These stories tackle some hard hitting topics with remarkable strength and introduce some very memorable characters. Although fiction, these stories are powerful reads, guaranteed to grab your attention and spark valuable discussions. There is a beauty in reading and literature that one can’t get from watching a TV show or a movie. It is my hope that teen readers and any reader will come to find the value within books and literature. Perhaps the library can be seen as not just a place that some people have to go to, but a place that people want to go to. Behind its doors is a wealth of knowledge free for the taking and exploring.
Want to find out more? Contact the NSVRC library today!