Welcome to Write Away!
The writing forum for Project Read learners.

We've redesigned our blog so that adult learners working at Project Read can share what they have written with other learners, tutors, and the public. There are a few simple guidelines to be aware of.
  1. This is a moderated site, so submissions and comments will first be reviewed before being approved and published.
  2. Adult learners submitting their writing have the option of using their first name (only) or using "anonymous" for authorship.
  3. We wish to honor the writing efforts of the adult learner/authors, so no major copy editing will be applied, but we may suggest minor corrections in consultation with the author.
  4. Only active Project Read learners are eligible to submit their writing to the Write Away blog and there are two ways of doing this: send submissions via email to projectread@sfpl.org, or stop by the office with a hard copy of your writing.
  5. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not represent those of the San Francisco Public Library and/or the City and County of San Francisco.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Join the Wednesday Night Readers Book Club in 2014

This is the reading schedule for Project Read's learner & tutor book club for the first half of 2014. Tutor-learner teams are encouraged to pick up FREE books and audio books (yours to keep). All we ask is that learners taking these materials make plans to join the lively and rewarding discussions held on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM. We make the unabridged audio books available so that learners at any reading level can take part in these book discussions.  Books also come with comprehension/discussion questions for tutor-learner teams to use during their tutoring sessions.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (books/audio available on January 29 for meeting on February 26)
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing. (206 pages)

Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare (books/audio available on February 26 for meeting on March 26)  
This play explores the premise that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in the world by a chain of no more than six acquaintances, thus, "six degrees of separation".  The plot of the play was inspired by the real-life story of David Hampton, a con man who managed to convince a number of people in the 1980s that he was the son of actor Sidney Poitier.  After the play became a dramatic and financial success, Hampton was tried and acquitted for harassment of the plays author. Apparently he believed that he was due a share of the play’s profits that he ultimately never received. (72 pages)

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (book/audio available on March 26 for meeting on April 30)
Sarah's Key follows the story of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living in France, who is assigned to complete an article on the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup in France as well as the story of Sarah, a young girl, who experienced the roundup first hand. The novel explores France's role in World War II and shines light on an otherwise scarcely remembered tragedy of the Holocaust. While most novels about the Holocaust delve into its horrors, Sarah's Key delves into the effects of the Holocaust that are still felt decades later by the French.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow (books/audio available on April 30 for meeting  on May 28)
Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop. Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity. This searing and heart-wrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society’s ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice. (272 pages)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Princess by Dai Sijie (books/audio available on May 28 for meeting on June 25)
This story follows the lives of two teens, Luo and his best friend (the unnamed narrator of the novel), who have been sent to a small Chinese village for "re-education" during Mao's Cultural Revolution. Sons of doctors and dentists, their days are now spent moving buckets of excrement up the mountainside and mining coal. But the boys receive a bit of a reprieve when the villagers discover their talents as storytellers; they are sent on monthly trips to town watch movies and relate the details on their return. It is here that they encounter the little seamstress of the title, whom Luo falls for instantly. When, through a series of comic and clever tricks and favors, the boys acquire a suitcase full of forbidden Western literature, Luo decides to "re-educate" the ignorant girl whom he hopes will become his intellectual match. That a bit of Balzac can have an aphrodisiac effect is a happy bonus. (197 pages)

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