Online Reading Challenge – May

Welcome Readers!

This month the Online Reading Challenge travels back in time to the 1950s & 1960s. Our Main title for May is Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Here’s a quick summary from the publisher:

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the feeling took root—that desire to look, to move closer, to touch. Whenever it started growing, it definitely bloomed the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. Suddenly everything seemed possible.

But America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day. – Dutton Books for Young Readers

Looking for some other books set in the 1950s or 1960s? Try any of the following.

As always, check each of our locations for displays with lots more titles to choose from!

Online Reading Challenge – March Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Challenge Readers!

How did your reading go this month? Did you read something set in the 1920s & 1930s that you enjoyed? Share in the comments!

I read our main title: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. This is the author’s debut novel published in 2012.

Needing a change, Jack and Mabel move to Alaska in 1920. It’s a rough life, full of long days, loneliness, and despair. The move pushes the two further apart as Jack works long hours on the farm and Mabel is left alone in their cabin. Wanting some normalcy during the season’s first snowfall, the two craft a child out of snow, both adding bits of themselves to their creation. The next morning, they are shocked to see that their snow child has been destroyed with a trail of tiny footprints leading into the forest. They glimpse a young, blond-haired girl flitting through the trees, wearing the hat and mittens that they decorated their snow child with. The girl named Faina inserts herself more and more into Jack and Mabel’s life, becoming part of their family. She never seems to truly belong with them though, instead preferring the snow and woods and life beyond their homestead. She has survived alone all these years, but that doesn’t stop Jack and Mabel from worrying. The more comfortable the three become with each other, the more they realize just how much they don’t know about Faina. Alaska may be beautiful, but the land holds violence right alongside that beauty. Their peace could shatter at any moment, something they would be wise to remember.

I procrastinated starting this book and honestly, I’m not sure why. It was such an easy, beautiful read. The Snow Child is a love story to Alaska and to the people living there. It’s full of immense joy and devastating sorrow. Eowyn Ivey is a master storyteller, weaving magic and realism together in such a way that at times I couldn’t tell the difference between the two. I felt like I was in Alaska with Mabel and Jack, struggling alongside them as they worked to get their homestead functioning and sustainable. The winters were breathtakingly cold and sparkling while the summers were sticky, clouded with mosquitoes, and full of their desperate attempts to prepare enough for the coming winter. The mountains towered over all with lush trees and wildlife running through, full of danger and promise. Ivey doesn’t shy away from showing the cruelness of Alaska and the hardness of life for people who choose to live there. It’s important not to forget the pockets of beauty that can be found though. All in all, this was a magical read full of wonder – one I’m glad I chose to read for this month’s challenge.

Next month, we are traveling to the 1940s.

Women’s History Month Reading Challenge 2024

Celebrate Women’s History Month! Log your reading and complete activities to earn badges throughout the challenge. Earn an entry into a drawing for one of our grand prizes for every badge earned.

This reading challenge is live on Beanstack from March 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024. Curious what you need to do? Sign up on Beanstack today either online or on the app!

Needs ideas about what to read? Try any of these women’s history books.

Juvenile Nonfiction

Cut!: how Lotte Reiniger and a pair of scissors revolutionized animation by C.E. Winters

Jovita wore pants: the story of a Mexican freedom fighter by Aida Salazar

Little Rosetta and the talking guitar: the musical story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the woman who invented rock and roll by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

Love is loud: how Diane Nash led the Civil Rights Movement by Sandra Neil Wallace

To boldy go: how Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek helped advance civil rights by Angela Dalton

The Van Buren Sisters vs. the pants police by Jennifer Fox

The woman in the moon: how Margaret Hamilton helped fly the first astronauts to the moon by Richard Maurer

Adult Nonfiction

Brooding over Bloody Revenge: enslaved women’s lethal resistance by Nikki Marie Taylor

The exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the fight for women in science by Kate Zernike

Looking through the speculum: examining the women’s health movement by Judith A. Houck

The Lost Princess: women writers and the history of classic fairy tales by Anne E. Duggan

Madame Restell: the life, death, and resurrection of old New York’s most fabulous, fearless, and infamous abortionist by Jennifer Wright

Normal Women: 900 Years of Making History by Philippa Gregory

Proving Ground: the untold story of the six women who programmed the world’s first modern computer by Kathy Kleiman

A Rome of one’s own: the forgotten women of the Roman Empire by Emma Southon

The six: the untold story of America’s first women astronauts by Loren Grush

Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism by Brooke Kroeger

Young queens: three Renaissance women and the price of power by Leah L. Chang

Online Reading Challenge – March

Welcome Readers!

This month the Online Reading Challenge travels back in time to the 1920s & 1930s. Our Main title for March is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Here’s a quick summary from the publisher:

In this magical debut, a couple’s lives are changed forever by the arrival of a little girl, wild and secretive, on their snowy doorstep.

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart — he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone — but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them. – Back Bay Books

Looking for some other books set in the 1920s & 1930s? Try any of the following.

As always, check each of our locations for displays with lots more titles to choose from!

Black History Month Challenge 2024

Celebrate Black History Month! This month, learn more about Black history, celebrate Black authors and illustrators, and explore Black history through the arts. Log your reading and activities throughout the month to earn badges and tickets to enter into our prize drawings!

This reading challenge is live on Beanstack from February 1st, 2024 to March 2, 2024. Curious what you need to do? Sign up on Beanstack today either online or on the app!

 

Needs ideas about what to read? Try any of these Black history books

Juvenile Nonfiction

I am Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford

Seeking Freedom: The Untold Story of Frances Monroe and the Ending of Slavery in America by Selene Castrovilla

Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi

Young, Gifted and Black, Too by Jamia Wilson

Young Adult Nonfiction

And We Rise: The Civil Rights Movement in Poems by Erica Martin

The Burning: Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan

Nearer My Freedom: The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano by himself by Lesley Younge

Revolution in Our Time: the Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone

Adult Nonfiction

Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation by Kris Manjapra

Black Rodeo: A History of the African American Western by Mia Mask

Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip through the Living History of Black Resistance by Alvin D. Hall

Invisible Generals: Rediscovering Family Legacy, and a Quest to Honor America’s first Black Generals by Doug Melville

Twice As Hard: The Stories of Black Women who Fought to Become Physicians from the Civil War to the 21st Century by Jasmine Brown

Online Reading Challenge – February

Welcome Readers!

This month the Online Reading Challenge travels back in time to the 1900s & 1910s. Our Main title for February is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Here’s a quick summary from the publisher:

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior—such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce—no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are raw with honestly and tenderly threaded with family connectedness.

Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life—from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Smith has created a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as deeply resonant moments of universal experience. Here is an American classic that “cuts right to the heart of life,” hails the New York Times. “If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will deny yourself a rich experience.” – HarperCollins

Looking for some other books set in the 1900s & 1910s? Try any of the following:

As always, check each of our locations for displays with lots more titles to choose from!