Important history lessons for today

I will never forget my eighth-grade social studies teacher Mr. Danato at Franklin Middle School in Wheaton, Ilinois. Mr. Danato stood at 5 feet 8 inches and had salt and pepper hair that fell at the nape of his neck. At the start of each class period, we would scramble to copy down pre-written notes […]

Hope Springs Eternal: A Time for Butterflies

On November 12, 2019, Holland, Michigan, was hit by a major blizzard that rendered 800 middle and high school students unable to meet Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies and Before We Were Free. Prior to the fall of 2019, I had never heard of Julia Alvarez. Now, I am on […]

A big Little Read thank you

The end of November brings another year of NEA Big Read Lakeshore and Little Read Lakeshore festivities to an end. On behalf of everyone on the Little Read team, thank you to everyone who made it such a successful year. From all of the participating libraries and classrooms, to everyone who attended the events, we […]

Little Read Lakeshore from a Little Reader’s Perspective

Here at the Big Read and Little Read Lakeshore, we are busy preparing for a month full of amazing programs geared towards adults and kids alike. We can’t wait! However, some of our Little Readers have already begun reading our Little Read 2019 book, The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy! […]

Coming Soon: A Broader Big Read

When I first heard that Julia Alvarez’s novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, was the book selection for this year’s NEA Big Read Lakeshore, I laughed aloud right where I was standing–in the center of my host university in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. The story takes place less than an hour’s drive […]

“For All the Children to Whom We Entrust the Future”

“What happens to the children?” Dr. Jesus Montaño asked this question as part of the opening to his lecture which took place Monday morning in the rare books room of Van Wylen Library. “I’m serious,” he continued when nobody answered, “what happens to the children?” The answer to this question is, in one sense, simple […]

“Survival is Insufficient”

The morning of November 1st was cold and brisk on Hope College’s campus; remnants of Halloween still hung about porches and windows while students bundled in winter jackets drifted down sidewalks. Inside the Kruizenga Art Museum, a small group of readers had gathered in a cozy conference room located immediately behind the front desk. They […]

2018 Introduction

Over the last four years, The Big Read has changed the Lakeshore community and all who have participated in it. We have grown as a community and as individuals through this shared experience. Together, with Harper Lee we witnessed Tom Robinson’s court case in 1930s Alabama; with Tim O’Brien, we fought a long and oftentimes […]

The Hard Questions

The steady drizzle and chilling wind of the day had mostly died down by seven o’clock on Wednesday evening, but the cold temperatures persisted, compelling attendants of “Claiming America: Questions of Belonging” to shuffle quickly inside Zeeland’s Howard Miller library. We grabbed our complimentary coffee and settled into our seats, eager to learn more about […]