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Jackson County residents invited to read same books

“The Marrow Thieves” and “Braiding Sweetgrass” are two of the four Native American-themed books Rogue Valley residents are invited to read this winter.
This winter’s Rogue Reads focuses on Native American titles

Jackson County libraries are inviting everyone in the Rogue Valley to read and discuss the same books this winter.

The second annual Rogue Reads event focuses on four books that delve into Native American culture and the environment. Ranging from a children’s picture book to a nonfiction book for adults, the picks allow everyone to participate regardless of age.

“We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom, with illustrations by Michaela Goade, is a call to protect the Earth’s water. Inspired by Indigenous-led movements across North America, the book won this year’s Caldecott Medal for children’s picture books.

The middle-school novel “Indian No More” by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell follows an Umpqua Native American family in the 1950s. The main character Regina and her family must relocate from the Grand Ronde reservation in Oregon to Los Angeles, California, after the federal government enacts a law that says her tribe no longer exists.

The book is based on real events when some Oregon tribes had their tribal status terminated in the 1950s. Many didn’t win restoration of their sovereignty until the 1980s.

The young adult novel “The Marrow Thieves” explores a world brought to the brink of destruction by global warming. A group of Indigenous children, teens and adults must undertake a perilous journey while being hunted for their bone marrow.

“Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” was written by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation that traces its origins to the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes region.

The nonfiction book details the lessons that can be learned from plants and animals, while calling for a more reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural world.

Rogue Reads takes place from December through February 2022.

Jackson County residents can take part by reading the featured books, joining in a book discussion or program, picking up a Rogue Reads-themed Take & Make kit or attending a live, online author talk with the writer of “Braiding Sweetgrass” at 5 p.m. Feb. 23.

Borrow the selected books, download discussion guides, and register for programs at jcls.org/roguereads. Participants can also earn prizes by tracking their reading on the Beanstack app.

“Braiding Sweetgrass” and “The Marrow Thieves” are available through the Book Club in a Bag program at local library branches. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book, one audiobook on CD and suggested discussion questions.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.