YA Book Club for Adults - Chinn Park Library discussion

American Street
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June Book Discussion

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message 1: by Prince William Public Libraries (last edited May 19, 2020 07:36AM) (new)

Prince William Public Libraries (pwpls) | 1 comments Mod
Fabiola Toussaint has left Haiti to come to America but her mother is detained by immigration during their travel. How will Fabiola cope with her new life with her estranged aunt and cousins?


message 2: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Hello everybody! Our discussion of American Street will be next Wednesday June 3 at 7 p.m. Both the ebook and eaudiobook should be available on Hoopla digital, accessible with your library card. I will be moderating the book group so feel free to reach out with any questions before our meeting next week. Hope to see you all next week!


message 3: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Hello everybody! Is there anyone else out there??


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments Hi Rob! I'm here!


message 5: by Janelle (new)

Janelle | 2 comments hi! I’m Janelle


message 6: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Hi Everyone! Let's maybe wait a minute or two to see if anyone is running late and we will get started! :)


message 7: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
American Street talks about Fabiola's experience as an immigrant in America. Do you think it is important to have books that discuss the immigrant experience?


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments I think they're very important, especially in today's climate where the issues of being othered are so prevalent.


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments In this book especially, Fabiola's perspective is so different than her cousins' who grew up stateside. It was interesting to see that difference, even in my own world view


message 10: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Fabiola and her cousins who are haitain american struggle with their sense of identity? ie American vs Haitian. Did you relate to this struggle? Is this a relatable issue?


message 11: by Janelle (new)

Janelle | 2 comments I agree with the sentiments posted above. I think learning about the immigrant experience helps people come together because we can empathize with one another’s feelings despite having different cultural beliefs/customs etc.


message 12: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
I thought this book was able to present a window that the reader could look into into the struggles that others, especially immigrants might experience.


message 13: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
When Fabiola arrives in America, her mother has been detained, she is in a new country, a new school, she dresses differently, and speaks with an accident. She is seen as very different from her Haitan american cousins and her fellow students. Can you relate to this experience of feeling othered or feeling like an outcast?


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments I can definitely relate. I grew up in a military family and had to move every few years. Each school change felt like starting all over, but because everyone was going through the same thing it wasn't so bad. When I had to start school off of the military base it was such a culture shock to meet civilians who I didn't relate to and hadn't had many shared experiences with.


message 15: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
I am very shy and so starting a new job or meeting new people is HORRIBLE. I could definitely be an outcast in school and college. But once you get me talking I will not shut up :)


message 16: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
American street not only discusses Fabiola's immigrant experience but features poc and lgbtq+ characters. Do you think it is important to have books that are diverse for young audiences?


message 17: by Elyssa (last edited Jun 03, 2020 04:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments It is! And I think this story did it well. I dislike in books where characters are written as if there's a diversity "checklist". These characters seemed very fleshed out and those diverse aspects were not all defining, they were all multifaceted. The characters were written and included in a very natural, organic way.


message 18: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Elyssa wrote: "It is! And I think this story did it well. I dislike in books where characters are written as if there's a diversity "checklist". These characters seemed very fleshed out and those diverse aspects ..."

I agree! I think all the characters were really believable and well developed.


message 19: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Fabiola and her family live on the corner of American Street and Joy Road. What do you think the significance of this is especially in the context of an immigrant's experience like Fabiola?


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments From my perspective and experiences, I think that intersection should lead to a hopeful start. Fab & her mother both seemed to truly believe in the idea of the American dream and it felt like fate that the house Fab lived in was at those intersecting streets.


message 21: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
From my experience, books like American Street were not as readily available, popular, or reccomended by my public librarians when I was growing up. Do you think we are headed in a direction where diversity and stories showing others experiences are being more celebrated?


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments Yes, I agree with Viola! I think, also, that initiatives like weeneeddiversebooks really helps to promote inclusive literature for all. The more publishers see demand the more likely it is these materials will be available!


message 23: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
What kinds of YA books/ genres would you like to read for this book group in the future?


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments Fantasy, horror, adventure...books we can escape in, please!


message 25: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Solka | 170 comments Mod
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, July 1st at 7 p.m. and we will be reading "In Other Lands" by Sarah Rees Brennan. Both the eBook and eAudiobook are on Hoopla. I hope to see you all next month! Stay safe and healthy!


Elyssa (elle_em_enn) | 93 comments Thanks for facilitating this, Rob! Speak with you all in July


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