The novel Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.
Friday, June 3, 2016 || By Michael Romain
The Maywood Public Library will share a $9,000 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant with five other area libraries to explore immigration-related issues through the novel Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.
The library is one of 77 nonprofit entities across the country to receive the grant, which will also be allocated to the River Forest Public Library, the Oak Park Public Library, the Forest Park Public Library, the Berwyn Public Library and Dominican University’s Rebecca Crown Library.
The novel, which is selected by the NEA, is designed to “unite communities through literature,” according to a statement released by the Oak Park Public Library last month.
“Our hope is that neighbors in this group of racially and economically diverse communities will Into the Beautiful North and take new opportunities to learn and connect through informative conversations with each other and local experts,” said David J. Seleb, the Oak Park Public Library’s executive director, in a press release last month.
Urrea’s novel centers on 19-year-old protagonist Nayeli, a taco shop worker who lives in Mexico and “dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work,” according to a synopsis of the novel on Urrea’s website.
“Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn’t the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village — they’ve all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men — her own ‘Siete Magnificos’ — to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.”
“Maywood’s participation in the NEA Big Read will increase awareness of some of the lesser known struggles that people who are immigrating into the United States of America must face,” said Victor Dixon, head of information services at the Maywood Public Library District.
“In our area, there are local organizations that help people to triumph over these difficulties, such as the Quinn Community Center, with Gabriel Lara as its director, and P.A.S.O. (West Suburban Action Project), whose executive director is Mony Ruiz-Velasco.”
Maywood bookstore challenges residents to summer reading fun
Afriware Books, 1701 S. 1st Ave., Suite 503, is challenging residents to read a minimum of 15 minutes a day in June and July. Those who accomplish the feat won’t just gain insight, but they could also win a gift card valued at up to $10. The challenge is limited to participants who are at least 17 years old.
The form to enter the challenge can be downloaded below or by clicking here.
“Studies show that adding culturally specific titles to a child’s education can increase GPA up to two letter grades,” note Afriware’s owners. “Stop in to select your own titles or we can make recommendations. Afriware Books has plenty of books for children and teens to choose from!” VFP
U P C O M I N G E V E N T S
Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., First Congregational Church of Maywood, 400 N . 5th Ave., will host its annual rummage sale.
Come get bargains on bargains on bargains! Lots of kid clothes, books and toys. All kinds of miscellaneous merchandise to tickle your fancy. Even fresh baked goods. Come find that perfect thing and have come fun with us.
J U N E E V E N T S A T M A Y W O O D L I B R A R Y
The Wellness Wizards will meet at the Maywood Public Library District from June 2 through July 1 on Thursdays from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. This is a program for kids from 3rd through 5th grade which will involve outdoor games, educational activities, and healthy snacks. People who are interested in this event must complete a registration form available in the Youth Services Department of the Library. Parental consent is required. This program is free.
Summer Program for Kids
Get in the Game and READ! The Maywood Public Library District’s Summer Program will take place from June 6 through July 13. Kids will be able to develop their skills, drop in for shared reading, treasure hunts, board games, raffles and prizes. For more information, please visit the Youth Services Department on the second floor of the Library.
The Conflict in Syria
On Monday, June 27, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Maywood Public Library District will show “Five Years of Conflict in Syria: The Road Ahead,” a film produced by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. This film shows a panel discussion of the situation in Syria that has now lasted for 5 years.
Eating Healthy During the Summer
Whitney A. Henderson, Nurse Practitioner and Community Outreach Nurse of the Loyola University of Chicago and of the School-Based Health Center at Proviso East High School, will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Monday, June 13, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm, to instruct people on healthy eating habits.
Henderson states that practicing healthy eating habits can help people feel good about themselves, while giving them the energy they need for their daily activities. It can also help people maintain a healthy weight, while preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Old habits may have to be changed, but eating well may be a lot easier than one realizes.