I am forwarding the announcement (below) from the Vermont Humanities Council with the hope that many libraries around the state will participate in the Vermont Reads program this year. VHC has selected a wonderful book that will appeal to a wide audience. Information about the book, the program, and financial assistance is below. Deadline for applications is May 30, 2009.
An Invitation to Vermont Communities
â€œVermont Readsâ€ brings communities and people of all ages together to read a book and do activities centered around it. Nonprofit organizations and schools may apply. Collaborations among organizations and businesses are encouraged. Read and explore When the Emperor Was Divine with activities for children and adults.
About When the Emperor Was Divine
The New Yorker describes When the Emperor Was Divine as an exceptional first novel about a Japanese-American family in Berkeley, California, during the Second World War. After the father is arrested for treason, the mother, daughter, and son are sent to an internment camp, where the girl tells her brother bedtime stories about the desert beyond the barbed-wire fence, and the boy whispers the forbidden name of the Japanese emperor when he thinks no one is listening.
Otsuka skillfully dramatizes a world suddenly foreign, from the â€œNo Japs Allowedâ€ sign at the movie theater to the horse meat served at dinner in the camp. The implicit questions about culpability resonate with particular power right now, but Otsukaâ€™s incantatory, unsentimental prose is the bookâ€™s greatest strength. It turns our ideas of beauty on their head, as when the boy uneasily remembers a treasured glimpse of the horses he now eats: â€œThey had long black tails and dark flowing manes and he had watched them galloping in the moonlight across the flat dusty plain and then for three nights in a row he had dreamed of them.â€
Read and Explore with Your Community
- Receive FREEâ€ˆVermont Reads books for your community.
- Attend author events with Julie Otsuka in the fall. September 26: in Burlington as part of the Burlington Book Festival and at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum; and September 27: in Brattleboro at the Brooks Memorial Library.
- Host a book discussion and poetry reading; explore Japanese and Japanese American culture; invite students and community members to create oral histories; organize art projects or outdoor activities based on the book.
- Listen to a Vermont Public Radio feature about the book, its subject, and its author.
Apply by May 30. Applications are online at vermontreads.org or call 802.262.2626 x306.
Phone: 802.262.2626 x306 or Fax: 802.262.2620 or
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