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More What is the What

What Is the What Cover

Another thing that I discovered in preparing for this week’s discussion of Dave Eggers’ What is the WhatPhiladelphia chose it for its 2008 One Book program.  They created an excellent resource guide with a timeline for Sudan and suggested further reading lists for children, teens and adults and a list of recommended movies. I found some links to online articles and weblinks for supporting Sudan. I was also incredibly impressed with the lesson guide they created for grades 9 through 12.

It must have been an amazing program for Philadelphia. 

In addition to the city’s reading What is the What, they also heavily promoted Mawi Asgedom’s memoir, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to HarvardWhile I have not read Asgedom’s memoir yet, I have been handing it to teens and teachers looking for positive stories of struggle and success ever since it came out.

It is just so amazing to see these One Book programs take flight all over the place.  And this time, instead of thanking Dave Eggers, I have to thank Nancy Pearl for starting this grand tradition. 

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

1 Comment on "More What is the What"

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  1. I mentored two Lost Boys in Kansas City their first year (2001) in the U.S.: Ayuel Leek Deng & Beny Ngor Chol. The 3 of us have authored a book on their experiences: Courageous Journey, Walking the Lost Boys Path from the Sudan to America. It has just been released by New Horizon Press (Sept. 2008). Check it out. We believe it is the most readable on this subject for the general audience.
    Endorsements:

    “Courageous Journey makes a powerful statement about the effects of today’s most threatening issues—terrorism, religious conflict and ethnic hatred—on the most vulnerable among us.”
    — former President Jimmy Carter

    “As one who worked with the so-called ‘Lost Boys’ in Kakuma in different capacities, I heartily endorse this very important book . . . The content reflects a true picture from my point of view.”
    — Stephen Kajirwa Keverenge, Associate Community Services Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

    “. . . It is a work which all concerned with the plight of the Sudanese must read.
    — Dr. Francis M. Deng, Director, Sudan Peace Support Project

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