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35 libraries selected for ALA’s Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

CHICAGO — Thirty-five U.S. libraries have been selected to participate in the American Library Association’s Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT), a thematic reading and discussion program series that engages underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs and racial healing work.

The program is supported as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort, a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

The grantees represent 29 public libraries, two academic libraries, three school/K-12 libraries, and one library association. Additionally, 29 community partner organizations, including alternative schools, youth detention centers, afterschool programs and other organizations that serve youth, are participating in the project. View a list of the grantees and their partner organizations.

The libraries will work with small groups of teens to read and discuss book titles — selected by librarians and humanities scholars to resonate with reluctant readers facing difficult challenges — on the theme “Growing Up Brave on the Margins: Courage and Coming of Age.” Some libraries will also host racial healing sessions led by practitioners familiar with the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT framework and racial healing approach.

An expansion of ALA’s longstanding Great Stories Club program model, the TRHT “Growing Up Brave” theme will feature strong protagonists who rise to challenges and fight for justice in the face of parents who may not always understand them, peers who doubt them, and communities who dismiss them or even find them dangerous.

The books will include “Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas; “March: Book One” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell; “Shadowshaper” by Daniel José Older; “X: A Novel” by Ilyashah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon; and “The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon.

The “Growing Up Brave” theme was developed by literature scholar Susana M. Morris, associate professor of literature, media and communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Anna Cvitkovic, teen librarian at the San Francisco Public Library.

Participating libraries will receive 11 copies of up to four books on the reading list; a programming grant of up to $1,200; travel and accommodation expenses paid for attendance at a two-day orientation workshop in Chicago; and additional resources, training and support.

The Great Stories Club is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services. Funding is provided by the Kellogg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

To be informed about upcoming Great Stories Club grant opportunities, sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian newsletter.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

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