Silicon Valley Reads 2019

February 14, 2019

Silicon Valley Reads collaborates with school districts and community organizations to promote reading and literacy in the Silicon Valley. Each year, a new topic for discussion is introduced and book titles selected for the community to read and discuss together.  Books are identified for young readers that encourage families and communities to read together to promote reading and appreciation of literature, while also sparking conversations. 

This year’s topic, “Finding Identity In Family History,” reflects the surging popularity of genealogy research that encourages more people than ever to learn about their ancestors and how their actions and decisions affect who we are today.  Everyone has a family history – some known and some yet to be discovered.  The following three children and teen books related to the theme “Finding Identity in Family History” have been selected as the companion books to the Silicon Valley Reads adult reader selections in 2019.  We hope you and your children will read together one or more of these selected stories:

•  Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal for preK-Grade 3. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names. How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.

•  The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods for grades 4-7. Violet is biracial, but she lives with her white family in a predominantly white town. Now that she’s eleven, she wants to learn about her African American heritage. Violet seeks out her paternal grandmother to learn about her lost heritage, discovering she’s not a shrinking Violet after all.

•  Picture Us In The Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert for grades 8-12. Danny is an artist and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD. Yet, envisioning a future without his best friend, Harry, makes Danny feel a panic he can’t articulate.  As Harry and Danny approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can’t stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina.  Simultaneously, as Danny digs deeper into his parents’ past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundation of his family history.  With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past to build a future that belongs to him.

We hope you and your family will join in the community conversation surrounding “Finding Identity in Family History.” More than 100 free public activities for all ages will be offered throughout the County including: author talks, art exhibit, films, panel discussions and children’s activities.  For more information, please visit SiliconValleyReads.org.