Join your pals at Novel every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. for A Novel Book Club. Our monthly picks will encompass a wide variety of genres, interests, and reading styles, with book club members involved in choosing future selections. Unlike a lot of book clubs that are spawned from a group of friends, we are a group of friends spawned from a book club. We really hope to see you at the next meeting!
About THE BOOK OF ISAIAS
**OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2017 Social Justice Book List published by The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) • Boston Public Library Latino Life Booklist • Chicago Public Library Hispanic Heritage Month Booklist • Books for Welcoming Week by King County Library System (Washington State) • Book club selection for Nov. 2018 conference of NAFSA, the professional association of international educators **
**FIRST PLACE for the Best Political/Current Affairs Book, International Latino Book Awards 2017**
**One of Southern Living‘s Best Books of 2016**
THE BOOK OF ISAIAS is a moving narrative nonfiction story that helps you understand today’s immigration wars.
18-year-old high school senior Isaias Ramos plays in a punk rock group called Los Psychosis and likes to sing along to songs by Björk and her old band, the Sugarcubes. He’s so bright that when his school’s quiz bowl goes on local TV, he acts as captain.
The counselors at school want him to apply to Harvard. But Isaias isn’t so sure.
“Why?” he asks. “Why should I go to college? Why? I mean everybody tells you to get a good job, right? But I think about a good job doing what? A college degree gives you the ability, but not the actual job. And I guess from my mindset I just don’t see college as being that important.”
He’s thinking of going to work painting houses with his parents, unauthorized immigrants from Mexico. His parents want him to go to college, but can do little to help: they don’t speak English and their educations ended early: his mother finished the ninth grade, his father the sixth. In many ways, Isaias is on his own.
Despite the obstacles and his own doubts, Isaias sets out on the journey to become the first in his family to go to college. He faces make-or-break standardized testing, immigration bureaucracy and absurdly high college costs. And most importantly, the siren song of doubt.The decisions he makes now will affect his life for decades and influence the lives of his potential children and grandchildren. Dozens of his fellow 12th-graders will make similar decisions this year. So will countless legions of other children of immigrants across the country. And so will millions upon millions more in the years to come.
This remarkable true narrative follows Isaias and his friends for more than three years as they seek their purpose in life, fall in love and break up, and face surprising twists of fate. The characters in this modern yet timeless story will stay with you long after you turn the final page. And now that one in four young people in America is a child of immigrants, this is essential reading.
About Daniel Connolly:
Daniel Connolly uses rigorous reporting to tell true stories about immigration, economics and globalization.
A fluent speaker of Spanish and German, he was born in Memphis, graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio and completed a postgraduate Fulbright teaching fellowship in Germany. He moved to Alabama in 2002 to work at the former Birmingham Post-Herald newspaper, where he completed a major project on Mexican immigration.
He moved to Little Rock, Arkansas and covered immigration for The Associated Press before returning to Memphis in 2006 to join the staff of The Commercial Appeal newspaper, where he still works. In addition to immigration reporting, he’s investigated multi-million dollar government payments to a Swedish corporation and Mexican drug trafficking ties to Memphis.
He’s also covered a wide range of other local news, including debates over garbage fees and a zoo exhibit on chickens.
Daniel has won numerous awards from state and national journalism organizations and received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the International Center for Journalists.
In his spare time he enjoys running, jiu-jitsu and judo. He worked on The Book of Isaias for more than five years, starting in November 2010 and finishing in early 2016.