July 2020
Friends of the La Porte County Public Library
News and Updates
Reading for a Cause
Summer reading program success
The La Porte County Public Library summer reading program known as “Read for a Cause” was galactic success this year. Not only did the youth in our community rise to the challenge and meet the reading goal of 250,000 minutes, they surpassed it reading for a total of 266,742 minutes.  Meeting this goal resulted in the Friends of the Library donating $1000 to the Northern Indiana Food Bank.  Everyone involved in this initiative should be very proud of this accomplishment. We fed both minds and the community!
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
A Book Review by Greg Fruth
After I finish a book, I often check the reviews on the Internet. How surprised I was to read negative criticism of Jeanine Cummins’ novel. Reviewers criticize her stereotypical characters, which paint a negative portrait of all of Mexico. Perhaps the stereotypical characters criticism has some merit, although I found the characters fully developed and realistic. Certainly, a novel about a drug cartel is going to show negative aspects of a country, but Cummins counters those dark views with love, hope, and a desire for a better life. Some reviewers criticize Cummins for not being a Latina. Cummins clearly feels empathy for the victims in this novel. Today many people are criticized for not feeling empathy; the author of this novel most definitely feels compassion for the victims in her novel. People of one race or ethnic background cannot write about other races or ethnic peoples? Don’t tell John Steinbeck.
My hands couldn’t keep up with my eyes as I read this spellbinding tale. A mother, Lydia, and her eight-year-old son, Luca, hide in the bathtub while sixteen members of their family are murdered. Lydia and Luca immediately head north for the United States to escape the drug cartel. Cummins has researched her topic well as she presents a riveting tale of migrants fleeing for their lives. Cummins most definitely feels the fear and the grief of these people, and brings that fear and grief to the reader’s soul.
Read this book and you’ll feel empathy for the migrant.
The La Porte County Public Library Mobile Classroom
This is exciting and super positive! The La Porte County Public Library Mobile classroom was featured on a recent WSBT News story. This mobile classroom will focus on providing hands on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) resources to the community. One of the very first young participants enthusiastically commented on his robotics experience in the bus:  “I would do it again and again and again!
This is a fantastic resource for the community.

Annual Friends Book Sale Update
Unfortunately, the 2020 Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale has been cancelled this year due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The Friends of the Library Board reviewed several options at our last meeting and decided to donate the books to Discover Books this year. Discover Books resells books with value, donates books to support literacy and recycles books.

The annual book sale is one of the activities the Friends of the Library relies on to provide financial support for excellent library programs like the Read for a Cause program highlighted above.
Your support through membership or donations to the Friends in this challenging time are much appreciated and will be used very wisely.