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One District, One Book Club
Posted 1/20/21

Starting Monday, February 1st , the Moraga School District will be embarking on an all district book club called One District, One Book. We will all be reading – Finding Langston, by Lesa Cline Ransome. During this time of separation and isolation we hope your family can participate in this special activity.  

“Finding Langston” is Lesa Cline-Ransome’s superb first novel. The book is about eleven-year-old Langston, a young boy from Alabama who moves with his father to Chicago in 1946 after the death of his mother. The move jars Langston as he is forced to grapple with a new city, a new way of life, and a new school. Nothing is comfortable nor comforting until he walks into a library and finds solace in the words of Langston Hughes, a poet who has his name and knows young Langston’s pain.

Set in the mid-1940s, Cline-Ransome takes the reader into the heart of the Second Great Migration and details some of the conditions that African Americans faced in the South and the North in this post-war period. The book doesn’t shy away from the topics of segregation and discrimination as Langston encounters it in the libraries in the South, in the passenger cars on the railway to the North, and in the neighborhoods of Chicago.

The book also touches on the Port Chicago Disaster of 1944, and while it appropriately doesn’t go into the macabre details of the disaster or the segregation practices that made African American units do the most dangerous jobs, the brief reference gives young readers the chance to start examining the history of oppression in the United States and to ask critical questions.

In addition to the rich historical details, Finding Langston also touches on topics like bullying, death, and grieving. In short, Cline-Ransome delivers a story rich in history and human complexity.”

With the One District, One Book program, we aim to build a community of readers across the Moraga School District. In addition, we hope to provide meaningful opportunities for discussion and learning as a community. Everyone - students, parents, staff, and administrative staff - may participate, and we can all reap the many benefits.

The reading is meant to be a read aloud activity for the family. Starting on February 1st families will follow the Reading Schedule  so that we are all on the same pace. We will also post podcasts of each “reading”. This is a fun way to listen to the “chapters” read by special guest readers.

This year we are hoping that you purchase your own book (hard copy or ebook) by our start date of February 1st.  If you need reimbursement or if you are unable to purchase your own copy, please reach out to your site administrator. If you are not wanting to purchase a book you can always listen to our nightly read aloud podcasts. You can also support local book sellers by purchasing at Bel and Bunna's in Lafayette or Orinda Books.

Have fun and enjoy this wonderful way of coming together around a book while we are all apart. With your help, we can build a community of readers across Moraga. We are all in this together!

Thank you,
The Moraga Administrative Team

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