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New ProjectLIT Chapter at Collegiate

The Collegiate chapter of #ProjectLit is up and running! Our first lunch/recess book club meetings around the graphic novels El Deafo by Cece Bell and New Kid by Jerry Craft were a success, with lively discussions from both students and faculty. A main topic of discussion was around the theme of IDENTITY, specifically how to remain true to yourself even when it would be easier to conform to what is expected of you from peers, friends, family, and teachers. We’ve all spent time in what Cece Bell calls “the bubble of loneliness,” even when those around us are trying to do the right thing. It’s hard to exist in two different worlds, as both Cece and Jordan experience.

Many of us could empathize with both Jordan and Cece, as we’ve all been the “new kid” or felt different from everyone else. We discussed ways in which subtle, seemingly harmless actions or comments (also known as microaggressions) can be hurtful, express prejudices, and reinforce stereotypes. Some of us noted that reading these books made us realize how we have unintentionally said or done something that would be considered a microaggression.

As a warm-up to our discussion, everyone wrote down a question or thought related to El Deafo or New Kid and the discussion flowed from there. A list of thoughts and questions can be found here.

Our next book club will meet on Wednesday, December 4th, at lunch/recess, and we will be discussing: Blended by Sharon Draper, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya, and Front Desk by Kelly Yang. You DO NOT have to have read all three books to join the discussion! We hope to see you then.

Find out more about ProjectLIT by checking out RGL’s ProjectLit page.

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National Book Award Finalists Announced

The Finalists for the 2019 National Book Awards have been announced. The awards are given in five categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Literature in Translation, and Young People’s Literature. The National Book Award is given by The National Book Foundation and honors exceptional literature written by United States citizens.

This year’s finalists for Young Adult Literature are:

Last year’s winner for Young People’s Literature was The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

VCU professor and author Tressie McMillan Cottom has been nominated in the Non-fiction category for Thick: And Other Essays, which is available in Saunders Library.

Winners will be announced November 20, 2019.

More information: Twenty-five Finalists to contend for National Book Awards in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature

Cottom’s book, ‘Thick: And Other Essays,’ named a National Book Award finalist