NEA Big Read Lakeshore

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Book Announcement Instagram Graphic

Be on the lookout for the Big Read Calendar!
Banquet Room

To celebrate the Big Read Lakeshore reading program, the library will be hosting a program that interacts with one of the Big Read books. Please check back for more information! 

 We will also be having a Big Read Book Club Discussion in December.


Each November we participate in a reading program called NEA Big Read Lakeshore. This is a program created out of Hope College with the intent to get multiple communities to read the same book and discuss it. There is an adult book, a middle school (tween) book, and a children's book selected that covers similar themes so everyone in your family can be a part of the conversation!

Why this Big Read book?

-The ethnic/racial makeup of our Holland and Lakeshore communities has changed dramatically over the past decades. For our sixth year, we want to choose a book that will foreground Latino culture. We believe this book can help our community experience the power of literature and the arts to cross some of the racial/ethnic, political, etc divisions in our community.

-The book provides a window into a different country, culture, and time period. Window books are important in helping us see beyond ourselves and our own experiences. They help us gain a better understanding of our world.

-In the Time of the Butterflies is celebrating its 25th year of publication this year. It is a well established literary “classic” and Alverez is a well-known, leading Latina author.

-Our books are easily accessible in English and Spanish.

There are dozens of events planned each November. These events take place across the participating cities (many happen in Holland and a few right here in Zeeland!). Please look at the Big Read Lakeshore Facebook page for more information on these events. They are also posted on the Big Read Lakeshore Website, but they are mixed in with the other Hope College events on that page. Links below. 

NEA Big Read Lakeshore Website

NEA Big Read Lakeshore Facebook

2019 Big Read Book Selections

Click on the book titles to place them on hold! 

Adult Book Selection

This year's Adult book is In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez. 

It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas—“The Butterflies.” In this novel, the voices of all four sisters—Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé—speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons to prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez’s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression.

Tween Book

This year's Tween book is Before We Were Free, by Julia Alvarez.

Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her twelfth birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have immigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disappeared without a trace, and the government’s secret police terrorize her remaining family because of their suspected opposition to Trujillo’s iron-fisted rule. Using the strength and courage of her family, Anita must overcome her fears and fly to freedom, leaving all that she once knew behind.

Children's Book

This year's Children's book is The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet, by Carmen Agra Deedy. 

La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right. So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. Even the teakettle is afraid to whistle! But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do. He sings: "Kee-kee-ree-KEE!"