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Published February 7th, 2018
Local libraries join forces to offer 'One Community, One Book' to teens
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In a collaborative effort between the high school libraries of Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte, and in conjunction with the Contra Costa County Library, the Lamorinda communities are invited to participate in the "One Community, One Book" Lamorinda Teens Read event.
Ruta Sepetys's latest work of historical fiction "Salt to the Sea" - a story of a group of teenage refugees in East Prussia fleeing the wrathful Soviet advance after the collapse of the Nazi Reich at the end of World War II - has been chosen to read during the month of February.
The books are available through any of the public libraries in Moraga, Lafayette and Orinda or at Acalanes, Campolindo, or Miramonte high school libraries, or in displays that will be set up around the three towns.
The books are available due to a generous grant from the California Teachers Association/Institute for Teaching and the help of Orinda Books, which brokered the purchase of 500 books. While the novels are being offered for free, they can also be purchased through any local bookstore.
The concept developed from a brainstorming session between the Moraga branch librarian Geneva Moss and Campolindo High School librarian Sarah Morgan. Their idea was to focus on teens and ask partners in the other cities to collaborate.
Joining them in the effort are Acalanes High School librarian Barbara Burkhalter; Miramonte librarian Susan Williams; and county branch librarians Sierra Campagna of Orinda and Vickie Sciacca of Lafayette.
Baker is enthused by the effort. "This is a really fun event," she says, "with all six of our libraries working together to make it happen."
The event kicked off last Thursday at the Open House for the Acalanes District, with presentations in the library promoting signing up for the free book.
Programs related to the book will take place at the local branches of the Contra Costa library during the month.
A movie about the Wilhelm Gustave - the boat that sank with many refugees on board - will be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Lafayette Library, with a discussion following.
Later in the month, four refugees from the community have been invited to speak on a panel at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Moraga Library. They will talk about their experiences fleeing and escaping their country and how their lives are now.
The Orinda Library will host a lecture and discussion at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 with Dr. Shir Gal Kochavi, an assistant curator of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley, addressing a theme from the book of Nazi-looted art.
Throughout the month of February, the Orinda Library will host a Scavenger Hunt. A teen advisory group of volunteers have created this hunt around issues dealing with Nazi-looted art.
"Another exciting tie-in," says Baker, "is that most of the U.S. history teachers are beginning a unit on World War II this month and the book is appropriate to the subject. They will be running in-class book talks and encouraging the students to read the books."

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