Salem Reads - 2020
The Salem community selected Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson for the fourth season of Salem Reads: One Book, One Community. This compelling and thoughtful story (based in Portland, Oregon) explores issues of friendships, race, privilege, and identity.
Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus (away from her friends) to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentor-ship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. Jade's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. She wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.
The Salem Public Library Foundation sees Salem Reads as an opportunity to increase the Library’s visibility, and act as a catalyst to bring the community together around shared values. The Salem Reads program is distinctive from other similar programs in Oregon in that we are targeting the participation of young people in our high schools by giving classroom sets of Salem Reads books to eight high schools in the area and Chemawa. Our goal is to have a rich multi-generational experience for everyone who participates. We hope you will join us!!
"A discussion guide for Piecing Me Together is available for readers who wish to explore identity, intersectionality, and the challenges and strengths of “piecing” oneself together. Exploring identity and intersectionality means talking about class, race, and gender. Whatever your comfort level with those conversations, this guide offers preparation, sample dialogue, and book passages to guide that conversation. The guide also offers several “out of the box” teaching suggestions for hands-on engagement. It is not our intention to script your experience. We are trying just as hard as you are to have this conversation in a way that strengthens us all.
To learn more about “us,” the authors of this guide, turn to the very last page. The guide was created in partnership with the astounding author, artist, and educator Renée Watson."