This post is from Brad Krautwurst, who is interning with the Richmond Public Library in Virginia.
My post about City Records is going to be put on hold, because I wasn't able to work with them this week after all. Instead, I am going to write about an event held at the library on Tuesday that really allowed me to apply a Shimer class, in this case, Feminist Theories with Ann Dolinko, a course that offers a sweeping look at the development of the fight for women's rights in the world.
The event, called Girls of Summer, was the second in an annual attempt to collect the best young adult books involving strong, smart female characters as the main character or characters. The event was organized by Meg Medina and Gigi Amateau, two local authors in Richmond, and from all aspects it was a huge success.
They announced the list and, periodically, girls who were of the target age range for each book would read an excerpt. Ice cream and refreshments were served, and a fun time was had by all. Around the halfway point of the event, once all of the books had been announced, there was a question and answer session with the author of the last book to be announced, Wendy Wan-Lon Shang, debut author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, a book chronicling the development of Lucy Wu's relationship with her great-aunt, who comes to stay for the summer.
They also held a raffle; one prize was a beach bag full of the picture book, chapter book, and early middle school titles, and one a beach bag full of the middle school and young adult titles. If that weren't enough, during a break to get refreshments and ice cream, a local bookstore, BBGB's Tales for Kids, sold the entire list, just in case you weren't one of the lucky winners.
All said, the event was a rousing success. I haven't read any of the books that were chosen for the list, but I'm just going to list three that piqued my interest. You can see the full list here, and you can find more information about Meg Medina and Gigi Amateu here.
- Just Being Audrey written by Margaret Cardillo and illustrated by Julia Denos. Yes, it's a picture book, but it's a picture book about Audrey Hepburn, and it doesn't just portray her films, it also portrays her work with UNICEF, her survival of World War II, and her work as an advocate for children.
- Me... Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. A picture book about a prominent scientist we read in Natural Sciences 2, Jane Goodall, more specifically about her childhood. I think this one looks particularly interesting, and come birthdays and Christmas, I'm definitely planning on getting this for my various nieces and nephews!
- Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero. This is a young adult graphic novel chronicling the author's experience growing up as the only young Latina in the middle of the Civil Rights movement: 1960's Marion, Alabama. She is the daughter of a photographer who documents the escalating violence of the time, and experiences exclusion from her peers, because she is seen as neither black nor white.