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Silicon Valley Reads 2021

Silicon Valley Reads is our library's and our region's "One Community, One Book" program. Each year we read books on a different theme. This year's theme is "Connecting ..." This theme highlights the importance of our connection to people and things that bring us comfort in a world that sometimes feels out of control. For 2021 we have chosen books that approach the concept of connecting with nature, music, food, animals, books and our fellow humans.

Sunnyvale Public Library will host Silicon Valley Reads events through the end of March.

Programs for Children and Teens:

Book Reading: Parker Looks Up
Best for grades 1-5
Monday, Feb. 1, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Connect with us virtually to read this wonderful story, Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Jessica Curry. With this book, we'll virtually visit Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery, where Parker Curry's young life changed when she sees Frist Lady Michelle Obama's portrait.

Join us on the Library’s Facebook page to listen to the story and learn more about this month’s Essay Contest for grades 1-5.

Parker Looks Up Essay Contest
For grades 1-5
Feb. 2 to 22
More information about the Essay Contest

Listen to the book, Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Jessica Curry on the Library's Facebook page. Think about who (could be a friend, relative, or historical figure) makes you feel connected to yourself, your culture, and your dreams? How does this person make you feel strong and powerful? Then, write an essay answering those questions for a chance to win a prize!

Entries are due by Monday, Feb. 22.

Winners will be announced Friday, Feb. 26.

Please see guidelines for each grade level and entry details on the registration link.

Connect through Cards
For ages 3 and up
Thursday, Feb. 4, 3:30 to 4 p.m.
Register for Connect through Cards

Join us in celebrating Silicon Valley Reads theme of “Connecting” with some Valentine’s Day fun. We will learn how to make a variety of wonderful Valentine’s Day cards to connect with your loved ones near and far. Registered attendees can pick up a craft kit between Jan 25 – Feb 3. Program will not be live. You will receive a step-by-step video by 3:30 pm on Thursday, Feb. 4.

The Library will provide card stock, envelopes, and valentine decorations. At home, children will need their own scissors, glue and crayons.

Registration is required.

Let’s Connect! Famous Inventions in Black History
For grades 2-5
Feb. 10-17
Register for Let's Connect! Famous Inventions in Black History

Celebrate Black History and Silicon Valley Reads with Sunnyvale Public Library! Kids who want a challenge can participate in this online learning game that requires participants to connect 10 Black Inventors to their famous inventions! Most of the inventions you’ll see in this online game are ones that we often use or see in our everyday lives.

Need help? Use your library card to search our online resources and databases for clues. No Google searches allowed. Parents and older siblings are encouraged to help too!

Ready to start connecting? Visit the event link beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb.10 through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Finishers may enter a raffle drawing for a chance to win their very own invention kit! Three winners will be chosen at random and notified by Feb. 22.

Teen Watercolor Postcard Swap
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 3 to 4 p.m.
For grades 6-12
Register for Teen Watercolor Postcard Swap

Create and share watercolor art! Pick up a take-and-make art kit and follow along on Zoom as pro watercolor artist Yi Bin Liang walks you through creating your own postcard-sized watercolor masterpiece.

Then, swap with another teen! Kits will include watercolor paints, brush, paper and a pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope. Mail your art back to us, and we will send you someone else’s to admire.

Registrants will receive instructions via email on how to pick up their watercolor kits.

Offered jointly with Mountain View Public Library.

Connect to Nature through Art
Thursday, Feb. 18, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
For grades 1-5
Register for Connect to Nature through Art

Join us to read the book, Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood in English or Spanish, by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell. Then, connect with a professional artist to draw a nature landscape!

For this program, families will need to provide their own supplies. You'll need paper, a pencil, an eraser and any coloring tool (markers, crayons, colored pencils, paint, etc.)

Registration is required.

Generously sponsored by the Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library

Book Club: Garvey's Choice
Thursday, March 25, 3:30 to 4 p.m.
For grades 4-6
Register for Book Group: Garvey's Choice

Read Garvey's Choice, by Nikki Grimes, and connect with Tanka Poetry. We will talk about the book and will have time to go over your own Tanka Poems, if you wish to share your work. To read more about Tanka Poetry, visit the Academy of American Poets.

Those who participate in the book discussion will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You may borrow Garvey's Choice from the Library.

Registration is required.

This year's books for children and teens are:

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Parker Curry

Maybe Something Beautiful, by F. Isabel Campoy
Quizás algo hermoso, por F. Isabel Campoy

Garvey's Choice, by Nikki Grimes

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon

Programs for Adults and for all ages:

Meditation: Finding Comfort in Connection
Thursday, Jan. 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
For adults
Register for Meditation: Finding Comfort in Connection

Humans build resilience by looking for people, places and things that provide comfort and joy during tough times. As we adjust to life in a pandemic, our connections with each other and with things that provide comfort give us a sense of security in a world that sometimes feels out of control. This program will include a guided meditation.

Registration is required.

Sing-Along: Music Mends Minds
Tuesday, March 9, 1 to 2 p.m.
For adults
Register for Music Mends Minds

This program was rescheduled from a Feb. 9, 2021. 

Language falls away in degenerative conditions like Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias, diminishing patients' ability to connect.

Music can retrain the brain, allowing people to communicate even as language is lost. Hear scientific evidence supporting the many benefits of music, and see the immediate results music can have on an individual's communication skills.

Experience the human connection music can bring, and share with any of your friends who may benefit from the healing effects of music therapy. Join us to learn how music mends minds.

This program will include a 20-minute sing-along.

Virtual Book Discussion (Monthly Book Group): Snow Hunters (2013)
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7 to 8 p.m.
For adults
Register for Virtual Book Discussion: Snow Hunters

Engage in stimulating conversation about books, exchange perspectives about characters and plot while getting to know your neighbors. This month's selection is Snow Hunters, by Paul Yoon.

Registration is required.

Bharatanatyam: The Essence of Indian Art
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2 to 3 p.m.
All ages
Register for Bharatanatyam: The Essence of Indian Art

Connect to storytelling through Indian dance. Join Artistic Director of the Paryukti Academy of Indian Arts, Nitya Narasimhan, for a presentation on Bharatanatyam dance and how it is connected to storytelling, drama, and yoga.

See demonstrations of the various Bharatanatyam dance forms and nuances.  Nitya will also speak about the importance and relevance of ancient Indian art forms in today's cultural context.

Registration is required.

Virtual Film Discussion: The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
Monday, Feb. 22, 7 to 8 p.m.
For adults
Register for Virtual Film Discussion: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Join us for a discussion of The Last Black Man in San Francisco (DVD or Blu-ray or stream through Kanopy) (2019, dir. Joe Talbot). Jimmie was a child when his family lost the Victorian house his grandfather built in the Fillmore district of San Francisco. As an adult, Jimmie remains fixated on the house, making exterior repairs and caring for the garden, against the current owners' wishes. Yearning for a connection to the last real home he had, Jimmie hatches a plan to reclaim the house.

Sunnyvale Public Library's monthly Virtual Film Group meets on the fourth Monday of each month to explore diverse cultures and lives through independent film and world cinema. Watch the film on your own, then join us for a discussion over Zoom. See registration link for more information on borrowing or streaming this film from the library.

Registration is required.

Virtual Film Discussion: Motherland (2017)
Monday, March 22, 7 to 8 p.m.
For adults
Register for Virtual Film Discussion: Motherland

Join us for a discussion of the award-winning documentary Motherland (stream through Kanopy) (2017, dir. Ramona S. Diaz), which brings us inside the world's busiest maternity hospital in the Philippines. Over the course of the film, new mothers, new fathers and hospital staff connect with one another over the harsh realities of family planning, money and caring for newborn children.

Sunnyvale Public Library's monthly Virtual Film Group meets on the fourth Monday of each month to explore diverse cultures and lives through independent film and world cinema. Watch the film on your own, then join us for a discussion over Zoom. See registration link for more information on borrowing or streaming this film from the library.

Registration is required.

San Jose Taiko: Interactive Movement and Performance
Saturday, March 27, 2 to 3 p.m.
All ages
Register for San Jose Taiko: Interactive Movement and Performance

San Jose Taiko is the preeminent North American taiko drumming company that has captivated audiences around the world with the powerful sounds of the Japanese taiko drum since 1973. San Jose Taiko is highly acclaimed for its innovative performances, community and cultural building and educational programs.

Join us as performers guide students through interactive movement and rhythm activities, taiko language practice and watch a video performance together.

Make some bachi (drumsticks) and play along! Gather 12-14 sheets of copy paper and some tape.

Generously sponsored by the Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library.

This year's Sunnyvale Public Library book choice for adults is:

Snow Hunters, by Paul Yoon

This year's books for adults are:

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, by Vivek Murthy

Always Home: A Daughter's Recipes & Stories, by Fanny Singer

Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too, by Carol Novello

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature, by J. Drew Lanham

The Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes

The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce

Keep an eye on your email for Silicon Valley Reads program updates from January through the end of March.


Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Sunnyvale will make reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require special accommodation, please contact the library at 408-730-7300 at least three days in advance of this program.

Program Disclaimer:
These programs use a third-party website link. By attending this program, you may be using a website not operated by Sunnyvale Public Library. For privacy concerns or questions, please review their privacy policies found here: ZoomFacebook

Sunnyvale Public Library will never request credit card information for programs. All Library programs are free.

January 8, 2021

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2017
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