Read Woke This Summer at the Library

Posted Jul 7, 2021

There is still time to join Shorewood Public Library’s Virtual Read Woke challenge!  Created by Georgia high school librarian Cecily Lewis, Read Woke is a national reading challenge asking readers to choose books that challenge social norms and focus on marginalized and disenfranchised groups.  The challenge asks readers to intentionally expose themselves to stories, characters, and knowledge from marginalized groups they may have otherwise missed.

Read Woke has options for all ages: Read With Me for families with children in preschool to grade 3, Tweens for grades 4-6, Teens for grades 7-12, and Adult.  You can register to participate online and track your reading here.

Readers can earn badges for each book they read and are asked to read books from ten different categories- African American Voices, Asian Voices, Diverse Abilities, Female Voices, Latinx Voices, Immigration, LGBTQ+ Voices, Native American Voices, Social Injustice, Poverty and Homelessness.  For each category, readers can also earn a raffle entry for gift cards to local bookstores.  We have created some recommended book lists for each category and age level to help you get started; you can find them here.

While we expect that many of you will enjoy this challenge and have fun with the books you select, we also know that this is and should be a challenge.  It is challenging and uncomfortable to confront our own internalized biases as we read about the experiences of marginalized peoples and groups, social injustices, and viewpoints that differ from our own.  However, it is in those moments of discomfort that we are given an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to deepen our empathy and understanding.  Read Woke offers participants an opportunity to continue building empathy and respect for our diverse and complex local and global community.

Shorewood’s Read Woke Challenge continues through August 31, 2021, and it is not too late to get started!

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