‘I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter’ chosen by Bookworm as upcoming year’s One Book One Valley selection | VailDaily.com

‘I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter’ chosen by Bookworm as upcoming year’s One Book One Valley selection

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Books have a unique power to flip our perspective and give us glimpses into worlds, both familiar and strange. Each year, the Vail Valley dives into the uniting power of books through One Book One Valley, which aims to unite the entire valley behind one book in order to promote literacy and community involvement, and encourage the love of reading.

Vail Public Library Director Lori A. Barnes dreamed up One Book One Valley nine years ago when she saw similar programs popping up in other cities.

“I thought, ‘We can do that,’ and we could do it throughout the entire valley, not just in one town,” she said.

Turns out other people liked the idea as well. Other librarians and organizations jumped on board, and soon enough, so did local politicians.

On Monday, longtime supporters and new fans gathered once again at the Bookworm of Edwards to celebrate the announcement of the new One Book One Valley read for the coming year.

“I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” by Erika L. Sanchez is a timely and relevant story of a young woman struggling to find her place amidst familial and societal pressures as well as her own wants and needs.

“It’s a freight train of a book,” said Bookworm bookseller Lisa Ekelman. “It pushes furiously forward and takes your breath away with it. It truly is a coming of age novel that will resonate with anyone who has a dream.”

“We are thrilled and honored to have Erika L. Sanchez as our author for this coming season,” Barnes said. “We all feel that her story is essential to the world at large and to our community, specifically.”

This reflection of the community is vital to the One Book One Valley Committee’s selection.

“Books need to meet certain criteria in order to be considered,” Barnes said. “They have to have relevance to the community, have literary merit, be available in multiple formats and languages, and have a wide appeal so that any member of our community will want to pick it up.”

‘Being on the same page’

One Book One Valley has partnered with high schools throughout the valley for several years, but this is the first time that a young adult book has been chosen as the community-wide read. This choice provided a unique opportunity for Eagle Valley High School teacher and committee member Amy Large, who applied for a grant from the school district, and through its funding has been able to provide a copy of the book in either English or Spanish for the entire junior class.

“The Education Foundation of Eagle County Committee seeks to bring awareness of relatable issues to the community,” Barnes said, “so they felt that the book’s themes tied in nicely with the school district’s mission of equity, inclusion and diversity.”

There will be a host of programs related to the book offered across the valley throughout the One Book One Valley season. This programming will culminate with the author speaking at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards on April 2. A full list of programming will be available online at http://www.onebookonevalley.com.

Bookworm of Edwards proprietor Nicole Magistro encourages the community to come into the store and pick up a copy of the book.

“There’s such a power in reading and discussing books,” she said. “Being on the same page provides a sense of togetherness that is truly remarkable.”