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Grandville-Wyoming Community Reads 2018

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The 2018 Community Reads program focuses on the challenges for refugees around the world who are seeking safety and a better life.


Listen and Learn: Refugees - Not Just Over There

Monday, March 12, 6:30 p.m., Mars Hill Bible Church

Right here in West Michigan there are organizations working to resettle and support refugees. Kristine Van Noord, Bethany Christian Services’ Program Manager for Refugee Adult & Family Programs, and Abdi Osman, Volunteer Coordinator at the Refugee Education Center, discuss the impact of the refugee crisis globally and their work locally. This program will be held at Mars Hill Bible Church in the Student Room, 3501 Fairlanes SW in Grandville.

Adult Book Discussion

Tuesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m., Wyoming Branch

Join us for a friendly discussion of our featured title, How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana.

How Dare the Sun Rise book coverThis profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism.

Sandra was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. She had watched as rebels gunned down her mother and six-year-old sister in a refugee camp. Remarkably, the rebel didn’t pull the trigger and Sandra escaped.

Thus began a new life for her and her surviving family members. With no home and no money, they struggled to stay alive. Eventually, through a United Nations refugee program, they moved to America, only to face yet another ethnic disconnect. Sandra may have crossed an ocean, but there was now a much wider divide she had to overcome. And it started with middle school in New York.

In this memoir, Sandra tells the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, of her hope for the future and how she found a way to give voice to her people.


Meet the author: How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Monday, March 26, 6:30 p.m., Wyoming Branch

Sandra Uwiringiyimana will tell the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, of her hope for the future and how she found a way to give voice to her people. Book sale and signing will follow.

Here's a list of books for adults and teens we recommend if you've read How Dare the Sun Rise:

KDaLe Book Club at Osgood Brewing

Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m.

A books and brews special edition! Hear about our two featured titles and others like them. At Osgood Brewing, 4051 Chicago Drive in Grandville.

Refugee book coverRefugee is the story of three different kids with one mission in common: ESCAPE.

Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world…

Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety and freedom in America…

Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…

All three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers–from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But for each of them, there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, surprising connections will tie their stories together in the end.

Alan Gratz is The New York Times bestselling author of a number of novels for young readers.


Book signing with Alan Gratz, author of Refugee

Monday, May 7, 6:30 p.m., Grandville Branch

Meet Alan Gratz, author of the book, Refugee. Alan’s books will be available for purchase and he will be signing his books at the Grandville Branch.
Here's a list of books for kids that we recommend if you've read Refugee:

KDL Gives Back - Hope for Refugees

Being a positive role model in the community and providing a foundation for success promotes hope for the future. Help bring hope to the refugee community by welcoming them with a donated wish list item:

  • Large pots and pans
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Sponges
  • Mops
  • Brooms
  • Kitchen garbage bags
  • Other cleaning supplies
  • Pillows (new only)
  • Children’s educational toys
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo
  • Bath soap
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Diapers
  • Other personal hygiene items such as deodorant, feminine hygiene products, razors, etc.
  • School supplies

Support Treetops Collective, a local makerspace for refugee women, by shopping for handmade goods online or at their shop at 906 Division S. in Grand Rapids.

Preschool Book Reading

This Is Me book coverGrandville and Wyoming preschoolers will read This Is Me: Where We Come From by Jamie Lee Curtis. Their accompanying art projects will be displayed at the Grandville and Wyoming branches starting in mid-April.

Here's a list of books for preschoolers that we recommend if they've read This Is Me:

Local Organizations that Serve Refuges

  • Bethany Christian Services provides resettlement services to refugee and immigrant families and assists them in adjusting to life in the United States.
  • Refugee Education Center helps refugee students and families adjust to their new lives.
  • Samaritas helps newly arrived refugees navigate their first months in the United States.
  • Thrive is a volunteer driven organization that supports local refugees adjust to life in the United States.
  • Treetops Collective is a supportive community dedicated to the long-term flourishing of refugee women in West Michigan.
  • West Michigan Community Relief collects donations to make the lives of many newly settling refugees a little brighter.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors and Partners