Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads

Community Reads 2016 represents the 13th year of YDL's collaboration with the Ann Arbor District Library, the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and Washtenaw Community College.

Each year a theme is selected and a book is chosen for the community to read and discuss. The theme for 2016 is A Very Good Read. This theme will highlight a work of fiction.

The selected title for 2016 is The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henríquez

This is a stunning novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love—a book that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American. It centers on the story of a fifteen-year-old girl, Maribel, whose family must leave their life in Mexico so she can receive medical care. She falls in love with the neighbor's son, and their love has the potential to devastate everyone involved. The story includes viewpoints from both families, and immigrants from all over Latin America.

The book received much critical acclaim and was named a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, and was an NPR Great Read. It was also named one of the Best Books of the Year by Mother Jones,, School Library Journal, and BookPage.

Copies of the book are available at the Ann Arbor District Library, the Ypsilanti District Library, and area bookstores. For more information on Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads, visit the Reads website at

The Book of Unknown Americans covers varying themes such as immigration, cultural identity, and Latino Americans. Check out the lists below for some books for grades K-5 and 6-8 that cover similar themes!

Grades K-5

Grades 6-8

The other 2016 finalist was Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson.



Books chosen for the Reads should meet the following criteria:

* The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
* The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
* The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
* The book should be by a living author.
* Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
* Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

During the summer the Book Screening Committee made up of individuals selected as representative of various civic constituencies read many titles reflecting the year’s theme. In the fall, a Selection Committee reviews the two titles suggested by the Screening Committee and makes a final recommendation of the Reads book for the coming year.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2015 is scheduled to occur January through February 2015.

For more information, please check out the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads community web site.

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