Tag Archives: new readers

A classic tale from a master teller… raaaaaar!

bear-suit“Don’t we all, secretly, want to transform? To be a bird in the sky, a fish in the river, a fox in the woods?”

Sharman Apt Russell, author and winner of 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing asks us this question as he describes a beautiful new book from Marta Maretich that was published this week. We are delighted to introduce The Bear Suit, “a wonderful and engaging story about being in nature and the wilds of the American West.”

In her extraordinary way, the author of The Merchants of Light and The Possibility of Lions gives new readers a story about transformation, redemption, and release. Rollo, a young man living in his mother’s house, is tired of humans. His dream is to escape to the Sierra Nevada mountains where he can live alone and be free of people. There’s just one problem with the scheme: Rollo’s very human, very hungry stomach. No matter how much food he carries in his backpack, Rollo eventually has to come back to the “messed-up, man-made world” or starve.

Then Rollo finds a dusty old bear suit in a costume shop. He’s got a plan! But what seems like the perfect solution at first will bring unexpected results and change Rollo’s life forever.

And you may have guessed, there is a story beneath the story. This is Ovid. This is Metamorphoses. Marta gives new readers their first look at the classics…and the transformation that humans have dreamed for centuries.

Put a book between those paws!

The young will inherit

lol-headerBy the age of 18, almost 90% of young adults regularly get their news from Facebook and other social media, according to a study by the Media Insight Project. That can’t surprise anyone, but it makes me a little nervous, especially given the dominance of false news. How can we process the vast amount of information flashed at us to make steady decisions about local affairs, insurance choices, personal finances…elections? How do young people figure out what’s true and what’s not? What to worry about and what to let slide?

To make considered opinions, it is important to read widely and then reflect. A passing glance at a phone is not enough to keep someone informed. If a young person struggles to read—or is a reluctant reader—all the more reason to believe that he or she is unable to fully participate in the decisions that determine our lives. 

And that doesn’t begin to address the anxiety young folks feel in a complex world. No matter what your response to recent elections, there is no avoiding the fact that Americans are stressed. The cycle was brutal and persistent, and, as we recognize with deep concern, divisive.

It made me think about so many young people across the globe who feel hopeless, scared, un-noticed each and every day. How would we know about their experience except by reading about them?

Where do we go to understand the implications of a change of government, to find a new way of looking at the world, to seek comfort in the evidence that the world goes on?

Not with a tweet, not with a post, rather with a news article, a story, a book. That is why we take our mission of full literacy for all adults so seriously…and you should, too.

Get a book in that kid’s hand.
 
 
 

About Gemma Open Doors

An innovative program of original works by some of our most beloved modern writers, originally designed in Ireland to promote adult literacy. These fresh stories showcase new writing from both best-selling authors and emerging voices.

Fidelity Charitable Giving

You are welcome to gift through your account at Fidelity Charitable Giving ... and thanks!

Gemma Open Door for Literacy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. Gifts and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. EIN #81-1384020