February 2021 selection: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Thanks to everyone who hopped on Zoom Jan. 18 to talk about Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, with D&M intern Jordan Polk, our teen librarian friends from the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library (special thanks to co-facilitator Brea McQueen), and guest Camille Jones, from Elementz. Here’s how some of you summed up that book in one or two words: “eye-opening,” “necessary,” “gratitude,” “important,” “very meaningful,” “caring,” “needed to be heard,” “profound,” “growing together,” and “surprisingly funny.” We’d say the same about our conversation! Good job, everybody, tackling a difficult but essential topic on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Now on to our February selection: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It’s a story of friendship and love between two very different Mexican-American boys growing up in El Paso, Texas, in the late 1980s–when LGBTQ identities and relationships were not as accepted as they are today. (Still some work to do on that, we know.) Funny, family-focused, and lyrical in its language, Aristotle and Dante is an excellent audiobook, read by Lin Manuel Miranda.

You can also pick up a copy (while supplies last) at our new Little Free Library at Elementz, 1640 Race Street, downtown.

And if you’re able to donate one or more books for a student in need, we’ll take it! Here’s a link to our Freedom Friends Book Club Wish List at Joseph-Beth. Thanks for your support.

We’ll have our virtual discussion of Aristotle and Dante via Zoom, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. WVXU news reporter Jolene Almendarez will join student facilitators Yousuf Munir and Catherine Adams (and, we hope, you!) for another awesome community conversation. Click here to RSVP; we’ll send out a reminder email and the Zoom link closer to the time.