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Tacoma Reads

Tacoma Reads

Tacoma Reads
Read the book. Join the conversation.

Tacoma Reads is a city-wide reading program that seeks to unite the community in dialogue around contemporary themes through reading a common text.

Three titles focused on the experiences of immigrants have been selected for Tacoma Reads:
- Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (main selection)
- Dear America: Young Readers' Edition: The Story of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (for young readers)
- Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (for children and families)


“Children of the Land” by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.

This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence.

"The award-winning poet turns to memoir with the devastating account of his family's immigration to the U.S., from terrifying encounters with ICE offers to his father's ultimate deportation." -Entertainment Weekly

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of Cenzontle, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. prize (BOA editions 2018), winner of the 2019 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award in poetry, a finalist for the Norther California Book Award and named a best book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. As one of the founders of the Undocupoets campaign, he is a recipient of the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” Award. He holds a B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared or is featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, People Magazine, and PBS Newshour, among others. He lives in Marysville, California where he teaches poetry to incarcerated youth and also teaches at the Ashland University Low-Res MFA program.

Check out your copy of Children of the Land today!


"Dear America: Young Readers' Edition: The Story of an Undocumented Citizen" by Jose Antonio Vargas. Jose Antonio Vargas was only twelve years old when he was brought to the United States from the Philippines to live with his grandparents. He didn’t know it, but he was sent to the U.S. illegally. In this young readers’ adaptation of his adult memoir Dear America, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas tells his story, in light of the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.

"Vargas...considers what it means to be American and how it feels when you are considered alien in your own home." -Library Journal

Check out your copy of Dear America: Young Readers' Edition: The Story of an Undocumented Citizen today!


"Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales's gorgeous picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.

"Morales tells, through illustrations that seem to dance and sing, the story of crossing borders on a bridge of language with her young son. Together they discover picture books and public libraries, and the gifts they brought with them — open hearts, art, poetry and stories — blossom." —The Washington Post, Best Books of 2018

A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available. Check out your copy of Dreamers today!


Tacoma Reads is a partnership of the City of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Library. Many thanks to our local community partners.

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