11 March 2021
Reading with Patrick. Read Between the Ravines. Image credit: Lake Forest Public Library.

Lake Forest Library and Lake Bluff Public Library are proud to present their joint nonfiction reading program called Read Between the Ravines. This Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book program brings together Lake Forest and Lake Bluff with the purpose of enhancing nonfiction literacy and inspiring discussion around real-world issues. 

Read Between the Ravines started in 2019 as Deep Freeze Read. In 2019, a group of library staff and administration at both Lake Forest and Lake Bluff libraries selected The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan from a list of titles suggested by staff from each library. Then we planned programs around themes in the book, such as engineering, ecology, sustainability, and access to fresh water.

The libraries partnered with Lake Forest Open Lands who presented an event about the local ravines in Lake Forest and Lake Buff and later interviewed the author at his visit to Gorton Community Center in early March of 2019. Earlier that same day, Egan was interviewed in a classroom at Lake Forest College by a LFC professor. In packed rooms, over 300 people attended at Gorton and over 100 people attended at Lake Forest College. 

For 2020, the libraries chose American Overdose by Chris McGreal. “An Evening with Chris McGreal” was originally planned both Lake Forest College and Gorton Community Center in early April of 2020. However, the pandemic shutdown in mid-March put everything on hold. The interview with McGreal was rescheduled in late July of 2020 as virtual event via a Zoom call with the interviewer, former Lake County Attorney General Michael, where the pair discussed the book and the opioid epidemic. The Zoom call was mirrored onto the Facebook Live pages of Gorton Community Center, Lake Forest Library, and Lake Bluff Public Library and is still available to watch. Questions for McGreal were taken on Facebook and communicated through a shared chat with Nerheim. Within a week or two, the interview video had over 2,000 views. 

Our 2021 selection is Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo. This critically acclaimed work explores inequities in the American education and criminal justice systems, the legacy of slavery, the role of educators, how literature, poetry, and books connect people, and the dynamics of race and power, all neatly packaged in an easy‑to‑read, biographical, and relatable first-person narrative work. Please join us on April 7 at 5:30 pm on Facebook Live for an interview between Author Michelle Kuo and David Smith, Distinguished Senior Lecturer of Psychology at Northwestern University. 

This program is made possible with the help from library partners and by a generous donation from the Friends of the Lake Forest Library to pay author speaking fees and related expenses. 

Learn more about this year’s title, find book club questions, and continuing learning resources such as a guide from the WK Kellogg Foundation on creating a discussion at home about race at readbetween.org

Our guest blogger today is Michelle Doshi. Michelle is an Adult Services Librarian at the Lake Forest Public Library.