Sunday, January 01, 2006

Reading Circle

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions? I vow to spend more time reading.

I recently read a review of Nicole Helget's memoir, "The Summer of Ordinary Ways," reminding me of how much I enjoy reading this genre. My favorite book is Laurie Lee's "The Edge of Day" ("Cider with Rosie"), a title that I've read most springs since I was 13 or 14 years old.

Today I read Velma Wallis' "Raising Ourselves: A Gwitchin'in Coming of Age Story from the Yukon River." I have Wallis' two previous titles--"Two Old Women" and "Bird Girl & The Man Who Followed the Sun." "Two Old Women" received numerous awards, including the Western States Book Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. I recommend these titles for middle school readers, on up, interested in learning more about Native cultures.

In "Raising Ourselves" (Epicenter Press, 2002), Wallis recounts her life growing up in Fort Yukon, Alaska.
"A few things hold us back. One is the idea ... that it is not good to be who we are: Gwich'ins, Tlingets, Haida, Eyak, Aleut, Eskimos, or whatever other tribe we are. The second thing that holds us back from being healed and being healthy is our reluctance to move into the future with a healthy balance of the old while we live with the new." Wallis, "Raising Ourselves," p. 211.

Let us great the 2006 with a healthy remembrance of who we are, as people, as library workers, and with a healthy view of what the future holds.