Would you be interested in joining a book club?
Book clubs are a wonderful way to share your insights, opinions, and love of the written word.
The Friends of the Library Book Club invite you to join them the 3rd Thursday of every other month for an informal review of selected books. Meetings are in January, March, May, July, September, and November. The group chooses an array of popular, literary, and intellectual titles along with notable authors for their discussions. If you would like to be a part of this group the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 20th at 1:00 p.m.
The book for discussion is Reading with Patrick by Michelle Kuo.
“Recently graduated from Harvard University, Michelle Kuo arrived in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, as a Teach for America volunteer, bursting with optimism and drive. But she soon encountered the jarring realities of life in one of the poorest counties in America, still disabled by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In this stirring memoir, Kuo, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, shares the story of her complicated but rewarding mentorship of one student, Patrick Browning, and his remarkable literary and personal awakening.
Convinced she can make a difference in the lives of her teenaged students, Michelle Kuo puts her heart into her work, using quiet reading time and guided writing to foster a sense of self in students left behind by a broken school system. Though Michelle loses some students to truancy and even gun violence, she is inspired by some such as Patrick. Fifteen and in the eighth grade, Patrick begins to thrive under Michelle’s exacting attention. However, after two years of teaching, Michelle feels pressure from her parents and the draw of opportunities outside the Delta and leaves Arkansas to attend law school.
Then, on the eve of her law-school graduation, Michelle learns that Patrick has been jailed for murder. Feeling that she left the Delta prematurely and determined to fix her mistake, Michelle returns to Helena and resumes Patrick’s education–even as he sits in a jail cell awaiting trial. Every day for the next seven months they pore over classic novels, poems, and works of history. Little by little, Patrick grows into a confident, expressive writer and a dedicated reader galvanized by the works of Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, W. S. Merwin, and others.
In this powerful memoir that “avoids the education-as-savior cliché,” as James Forman, Jr. and Arthur Evenchik write, Kuo is herself transformed as she contends with the legacy of slavery and he questions of what constitutes a “good” life and what the privileged owe to those with bleaker prospects.” – Amazon description