This FIVE ON edition focuses on the theme of welcoming. The books are sure to inspire new connections and an appreciation for the many volunteers and organizations who make a habit of extending themselves.
Marking Roanoke Welcoming Week (Sept. 14-23), the list was compiled by Roanoke Public Libraries Director Sheila Umberger and Stephanie Holladay, executive director of Blue Ridge Literacy,
A national effort, Welcoming Week here in Roanoke brings together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to promote the benefits of welcoming everyone in our community. And if the reading list below captured your interest, here are a few other links.
★ Sheila and Stephanie about the BRL and RPL partnership
★ FIVE ON Welcoming (Juvenile and Young Adult books)
★ Be a welcomer: Action Tips from National Welcoming Week.
FIVE ON Welcoming (Adult titles)
1.What is the What by Dave Eggers (Fiction)
A fictional adaptation of the true story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. This unforgettable book tells the story of a boy forced to walk alone through a warzone and three countries before finally making his way to America.
2. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Fiction)
Published earlier this year to great acclaim, Exit West tells the story of two people who must leave their homeland to avoid violence.
3. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Fiction)
This 2017 National Book Award finalist tells the engrossing saga of a family of Korean refugees living in Japan through some of the twentieth century’s biggest historical events.
4. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Moue (Fiction)
This Oprah’s Book Club novel follows the challenges of a Cameroonian couple striving to make it in New York around the 2008 recession. Mbue’s novel humorously and compassionately portrays the immigrant experience and class disparities in modern America.
5. Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario (Nonfiction)
Published five years ago and more resonant today than ever, Nazario’s work of nonfiction tells the story of a teenager who travels alone from Honduras to the United States to reunite with his mother. An adapted version for young readers is also available at the Roanoke Public Libraries
6. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Fiction)
This collection by Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen contains short stories that depict migrants’ struggles to find identity, meaning, and a sense of belonging
7. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (Nonfiction)
The true story of a Rwandan girl who traveled through seven countries, and a series of refugee camps, before moving to the U.S. with refugee status at age twelve. This book traces the journeys of Wamariya and her sister through Africa and their subsequent efforts to make it in America. ★