Growing Up Brave on the Margins: Great Stories Club 2018

growing up brave

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The University Branch of the Seattle Public Library in partnership with Interagency Academy’s UDYC site has been awarded a fourth grant from the American Library Association’s Great Stories Club!

This is a special “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club Pilot” and the theme of this series is “Growing Up Brave on the Margins.”

For each book discussion, we’re inviting guests from the community that have knowledge and experience related to the different topics and themes in the books to present at each book club. Read on to learn more about the theme and the three books we’re discussing.

Book 1 (Discovering Your Power): Ms. Marvel Volume 1:
No Normal by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

ms marvel“Ms. Marvel chronicles the life and times of Kamala Khan, a Muslim-American teenager living in hardscrabble Jersey City, New Jersey, who has to balance school, strict immigrant parents, and newfound superpowers, all while strange and seemingly unexplainable weirdness happens all around her. Superheroes like the previous Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, and Iron Man are saving the world in nearby New York; meanwhile teens are randomly disappearing all across Jersey City, and Kamala finds herself with newly received superpowers. At the same time, Kamala is trying to maintain her schoolwork, friends, and rise to the expectations of her Pakistani immigrant parents. Sometimes it is harder to say what Kamala finds more difficult — negotiating growing up with her loving and (over)protective parents or figuring out her superpowers and defeating nefarious villains. Kamala is lovable, headstrong, smart, loyal, and sometimes goofy. The first volume of this comic book series finds our protagonist really figuring how what kind of young woman she wants to be: a person who is scared to speak up for what is right; a reckless, untrained superhero; or a young person who is strong enough and smart enough to protect her community, with some help from her friends and family. Ms. Marvel invites readers into a familiar yet fantastical world with a heroine who is still learning the ropes of how to get on in a sometimes scary world. Ms. Marvel raises key questions: what does it mean to balance your family’s expectations with your own desires? How can you channel your newfound bravery without alienating others? What does itmean to brave or courageous without being reckless?”

hate u giveBook 2 (Speaking Truth to Power): The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
“The Hate U Give is a timely book that focuses on key
themes in young adult literature, like finding your voice,
navigating friends, frenemies, and first loves, and figuring
out family. At the same time, the novel tackles important themes like racism, interracial relationships, gang violence, and police brutality. Protagonist Starr Carter is a smart, hardworking young woman caught between the love and loyalty of her family and community and the possibilities and promises held out in the world of her prep school. After witnessing the murder of her childhood best friend, Starr must figure out if she should move from the shadows of both worlds and step into the light to defend not only her friend, but also her community. Indeed, the novel skillfully balances Starr’s coming of age alongside a discussion of the current civil rights movement known as the Movement for Black Lives, whose rallying cry is “Black Lives Matter,” reflecting the frustration many black communities have in the face of quotidian systemic violence. Thomas’s novel asks: How can you create the space to be yourself wherever you go? What if your true identity is not accepted? How do you stand up for the rights of others? What does it mean to speak truth to power? How can you walk away from violent or hurtful situations with your dignity intact?”

march book oneBook 3 (Fight the Power): March: Book One
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell
“Generations of slavery, then Jim Crow segregation, followed by the rollback of key civil rights gains, has meant a precarious existence for many African Americans; however, it is often difficult to talk about this painful history. Nevertheless, considering the horrible acts of racist violence like the 2015 Charleston massacre or the persistent threat of racialized violence means that the past isn’t even really the past. Poet and essayist Elizabeth Alexander mulls over the history of black bodies on display, from lynchings to the beating of Rodney King, noting, “Black bodies in pain for public consumption have been an American national spectacle for centuries.” 3 March is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel that manages to tackle serious subjects, such as what Alexander references, in an honest, forthright, and accessible way. It masterfully brings together Georgia Congressman John Lewis’s childhood in rural Alabama, illuminating his early work in the civil rights movement alongside his current work as a legislator. March makes a point of underscoring all the deliberate choices Rep. Lewis made to be brave, make his voice be heard, and to fight for what’s right. March raises important questions: what are you willing to put on the line for your beliefs? How can one person make a difference in a giant system?”

GSC March 2018 Grantees

Most of the 25 Great Stories Club TRHT 2018 grantees and staff.

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