Palo Alto Weekly is holding their annual short story contest!
The contest is professionally judged and stories can be up to 2,500 words. There are two youth categories, one for ages 15-17 and another for ages 12-14. You can submit your story from now until April 13th. For more information, visit the Palo Alto Weekly’s website here.
“…in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors […] If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
-Abigail Adams, March 31, 1776 in a letter to John Adams, her husband
In 1987, Congress passed a resolution to declare March as National Women’s History Month. Since we’re the library at a girl’s school, it seems best to celebrate with books! Here’s a few of our favorite new things about women.
Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics by Jason Porath
Based on the viral tumblr sensation Rejected Princesses, these are the princesses you won’t find in a Disney movie.
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Rachel Swaby
How many female scientists can you name off the top of your head? Read this and you’ll know at least 52!
Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? A Story of Women and Economics by Katrine Marçal
A book looking at the ignored labor women do, and how much it actually contributes to making society function.
Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw and Speak About Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen
Want to know what top minds have to say about the state of feminism today? Read this!
Rahul Kanakia discussing his debut novel, Enter Title Here.
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 2:00pm
2712 Augustine Drive
Santa Clara, CA More information here.
Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting it Done by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser, creators of the viral game Tampon Run.
Monday, March 13, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me, talks about her new book The Mother of All Questions with Angie Coiro.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – 7:30pm – Seating opens at 6:30pm
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
February is Black History Month, which seems like a good time to highlight some of the new materials we have by and about African-Americans and their lived experiences. Eva S. ’18 writes about some of the stuff we’ve gotten recently.
Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, edited by Philip Cushway and Michael Warr
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, editor Philip Cushway and poet Michael Warr created a collection of poems from African-American writers. This is not just a collection of poetry; beautiful pictures of the poets, photographed by Victoria Smith, as well as carefully chosen images from the Black Panther Party until today provide a glimpse into the African-American experience in a tangible, multifaceted way over time. Thomas Sayers Ellis’ poem “The Identity Repairman” highlights the changing language surrounding people of color that symbolizes African-American advancement in society. His poem begins with “AFRICAN: I am rooted./Ask the land./ I am lyric./ Ask the sea.” and ends hauntingly with “AFRICAN-AMERICAN: “Before I was born,/ I absorbed struggle./ Just looking/ at history hurts.”
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward
Inspired by James Baldwin’s speech The Fire Next Time, Jesmyn Ward has compiled a powerful collection of essays and poems called The Fire This Time, which takes a contemporary look at the racial tensions that have underscored our country’s history for centuries. In her introduction, Ward asserts that “We cannot talk about black lives mattering or police brutality without reckoning with the very foundation of this country.” It is with this simple and honest, yet incredibly complex statement that the stories of current black writers unfold to reveal the reality of people of color in a society still dealing with the aftermath of slavery. However, Ward’s book also gives hope to the reader and to the authors. She says, “I believe that there is power in words, power in asserting our existence, our experience, our lives, through words. That sharing our stories confirms our humanity.”
The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution, edited by Bryan Shih and Yohuru Williams
Despite the efforts of the FBI to silence and demonize the Black Panther Party during their height in the 1960’s, this collection allows the stories of everyday, working-class members of the Party to share their stories of bravery. Bryan Shih, a photojournalist, illuminates the voices of these members with thoughtful portraits, full of grace. Yohuru Williams, a historian, enriches the experience with the social context of the time. Flipping through the collection, the weathered faces of the former members stand out with their clear, strong gazes and unfazed expressions. Their stories are equally strong and sometimes unbelievably horrifying and difficult. Throughout the book, however, the sense of justice that these men and women carry with them brings a greater purpose to the book than only their stories. As Melvin Dickson, a crucial member of the Party and co-founder of the Commemoration Committee for the Black Panther Party, said, “That’s what makes the legacy of the Black Panther Party matter- that we loved beyond ourselves.”
In the period after World War I, up till the 1940s, the genre of “race films” emerged. These were films that starred African American actors, and were funded, written, produced, edited, distributed, and watched by African Americans. This separate industry provided positive, complex roles for black actors instead of the heavily stereotyped roles provided by Hollywood. Additionally, as Jacqueline Stewart, a film professor at the University of Chicago, explains, these films addressed key issues within the black community such as “the politics of skin color within the black community, gender differences, class differences, regional differences especially during this period of the Great Migration.” This fascinating genre built a distinct style of narration, and influenced the tradition of black cinema for decades.
Check out “Pioneers of African-American Cinema” from the library, a restored collection of films from this time period. It includes work from important figures such as Oscar Micheaux and Zora Neale Hurston (author of Their Eyes Were Watching God).
Whether or you love it or love to hate it, reality television has become a huge part of our culture. So much so it’s seeped into the publishing world. Here’s four books that take involve reality shows, but take the idea in very different directions.
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos
When Jackie’s dad is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he auctions his life on eBay to the highest bidder–a sociopathic reality show producer. Jackie finds her own ways to rebel in this darkly comic novel.
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
Joyeaux Charmand leaves her community of Hunters, who fight the terrifying monsters that have overrun their world, to guard the elite in Apex City. But the elite are more interested in watching the Hunters, and Joy uncovers a disturbing conspiracy.
Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie
Magnolia and her half-sister Rose want out of their small town with its residents who judge them because of their addict mother. Mags’ best friend convinces her a reality TV dance competition is the best way, but after he betrays her on TV, she must reach out to the other competitors to succeed.
The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe by D.G. Compton
Humanity has conquered death, pain, and disease. Or so they think, until Katherine is diagnosed with a terminal brain disease brought on by sensory input overload. She refuses to play to the fascinated public, but little does she know there are cameras on anyway…