Published on: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 Takoma Park Newsletter

Library Briefs

Amharic Story Time

We’re hosting our first Amharic Story Time on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 2 – 3 p.m. Geared to children ages 4-8 and their grown-ups, the program will be led by Kidist Desta, a Takoma Park resident and native Amharic speaker. Working with children’s librarian Karen MacPherson, Desta has created a program that will begin with a storytelling session – in English and Amharic – based on the book, “Silly Mammo.” The book, based on an Ethiopian folktale, is retold by Yohannes Gebregeorgis. Following the storytelling session, participants can do a craft based on the book. Registration is encouraged for this program, so that we can have enough craft materials for all. To register, please go to or call us at 301-891-7259.

Nighttime Comics Jam

Join us for a special nighttime version of our popular Comics Jam program on Monday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. Dave Burbank, the library’s comics guru, will read some comics aloud, using our document camera and the big screen so that everyone can see all the action. Burbank will conclude the program by taking “drawing requests” from the audience, who can watch him do live drawing up on the big screen. No registration required; the program is best for ages 5 up.

Authors! Authors!

Mark your calendars for the beginning of another season of visits from top kids’ authors and illustrators, courtesy of our partnership with Politics and Prose bookstore. First up are author Mac Barnett and illustrator Christian Robinson, who will talk about their new picture book, “Leo, A Ghost Story,” on Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Great for ages 3-7 and their grown-ups!

Friends Fortnightly Book Club to Discuss Work by Rwandan Author

Join the Friends Reading Group to discuss “Our Lady of the Nile,” the 2012 novel by the Rwandan writer Scholastique Mukasonga on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hydrangea Room.

“Our Lady of the Nile” tells the story of a school for the daughters of the Rwandan elite before the genocide of 1994. Although it is set in the 1970s, the novel reveals that what was to come had already been set in motion. The novel uses the story of a group of students and their teachers to create what one reviewer described as a “microcosm” of the resentments that led to the Hutu massacre of more than 100,000 Tutsis in less than four months. More than just a story of a school for girls, “Our Lady of the Nile” explores the colonial history that led to the genocide.

Reviewer Bibi Deitz writes: “… “Our Lady of the Nile,” published in English 20 years after the massacre of the Tutsi people, is a political novel, addressing race, culture, gender. The brutality of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict is easily misunderstood. This book makes it human, brings it down to the level of the everyday. When the question of how such a thing could have happened is asked, the treacherous answer is here, in the mundane. By imagining the everyday lives of Rwandans, Mukasonga makes more sense of the climate leading up to the genocide than a stack of news articles does.”

All are welcome to attend the Friends of the Library book discussions. Copies of “Our Lady of the Nile” will be available at the Library.

This article appeared in the August 2015 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.