2013-2014 Parkland Reads Book Announcement

Are you excited to hear what next year’s book is? Well, soon you can! Come to our National Library Week Celebration Thursday April 18th at noon in the Parkland Library.
National Library Week is April 14-20. This national observation is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). Libraries all over the country celebrate by hosting special events and promoting library use.

On Thursday, April 18th at noon, this year’s READ poster featuring a Parkland “celebrity” will be unveiled along with next year’s Parkland Reads book in the Library Reading Lounge. We’ll also have special giveaways, snacks, bookish humor and other fun stuff so come on by and take part in the festivities.

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Time to read!

Cozy fire
These early December days are balmy and busy. Soon the dust will settle: finals will be finally over, the days will return to seasonally appropriate colder temperatures and you will have time to read! Now’s the time to add Into the Beautiful North to your list of reading materials for the coming winter break. There will be more book discussions and Parkland Reads programs to participate in for spring 2013, so get ready.  If you’ve already read Into the Beautiful North be sure to check out some of Urrea’s other excellent books. We have them all in the Parkland Library collection, including Urrea’s rich fictions and detailed non-fictions. Be sure to check them out before you head off campus for the break. Enjoy your reading!

Into the Beautiful North is Selected for the Big Read

Exciting news: Into the Beautiful North has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as a national Big Read selection! The Big Read program is a way to encourage people to read for pleasure and learn. Visit their blog to learn more about this and the other new book announcements. On November 13th there will be a webinar featuring Luis Alberto Urrea. Listen to see what Urrea, himself, has to say about the book. Details for the webinar are here. Now when you read Into the Beautiful North, not only are you joining other readers at Parkland College, but you’re joining readers all over the country! Hooray. Pick up the book and be a part of something.

and the 2012-13 Parkland Reads book is…

Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea.

It’s a quirky book.  It is a book about a road trip and U.S. pop culture.  It is about poverty and immigration and stereotypes and the love of movies and bowling, and the drug trade and the border between Mexico and the United States.

Nineteen year old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her poor coastal Mexican village.  She dreams about her father, who journeyed to the U.S. to find work, ending up in KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS.  Recently it has dawned on her that he isn’t the only man to abandon the town.  In fact, there are almost no men left in the village—they have all gone north.

After viewing the film, The Magnificent Seven, at the little local theatre, she comes up with a plan.  Nayeli and three friends set out on a quest north to find seven Mexican men and smuggle them back into Mexico to protect the town from bandidos in the Mexican drug trade.

Their journey gives us an up close look at Mexican border towns as well as a look at the United States as a foreign country through the eyes of the travelers.

Luis Alberto Urrea is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame.  He was born in Tijuana, Mexico, to an American mother and a Mexican father.  He has used his experiences from living in dual cultures to explore themes of living in two worlds.   His nonfiction work, The Devil’s Highway, became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  He is also the author of another work of fiction, The Hummingbird’s Daughter.  He teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois, Chicago.