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Book to Action: Sunnyvale Reads Dear America

Welcome to Sunnyvale Public Library’s first Book to Action community read. We have chosen the book Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Antonio Vargas.

Join us for a series of events centered around the topics of immigration, equity and what it means to be an American. We welcome adults, teens and children to participate in conversations about immigrant experiences in our city.


Dear America is a timely, deeply personal account from Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Vargas, born in the Philippines, shares his American story of growing up in Mountain View. Now an immigration reform activist, Vargas examines the many struggles undocumented citizens face. 

Check out a copy of Dear America through Sunnyvale Public Library. Available in multiple formats including Spanish and young readers version. Free personal copies are also available, register for one of our events to learn more.


Save the dates for the following programs for adults, teens and children.

ESL Conversation Group*
For Adults
Monday, March 29, 2 to 3 p.m.
Monday, May 10, 2 to 3 p.m.

Do you want to improve your English? Join other adults to practice your English-speaking skills in a friendly group setting. We will use Jose Antonio Vargas' book Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen as a guide for our lesson. We will explore topics of immigration, belonging and storytelling. All levels welcome.

Dear America Book Discussion*
For Adults
Wednesday, April 14, 7 to 8 p.m.

Connect with your neighbors and share your thoughts on Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. Contact the library to ask about receiving a personal copy of the book.

In Conversation with Dr. Ibram X Kendi*
For Adults
Wednesday, April 21, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Join community members across California and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to discuss How to Be An Antiracist, a 2021 Book to Action selection and the 2020-2021 Book in Common at Chico State.

Kendi’s concept of antiracism reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America. You will learn how to move from reflection to meaningful action on issues of racial equity. He asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

Child and Parent Book Discussion*
For Adult Caregivers and Children Ages 10 and Up
Monday, May 17, Two Sessions: afternoon and evening

Join us for a parent and child book discussion on the Young Adult version of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. We will also make a craft to remember the experience! Share your perspective during this multi-generational discussion.

Craft materials will be available to registrants for pickup beginning Saturday, May 1. Limited copies of the book will be available to registrants. Participants are only required to attend one of the two sessions. Please only register if you can attend one of the two sessions.

In Conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas*
For Adults
Thursday, June 24, 7 to 8 p.m.
Register for In Conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas

Join us for this intimate conversation with Vargas, as he takes us deeper into his story. He shares his journey to America from the Philippines and his path to becoming an immigration reform activist. He discusses the struggles many other undocumented citizens face and poignantly explores the question: "How do you define 'American'?"

The author will answer questions submitted in advance. Please submit your question through the registration form. *This program will have simultaneous Spanish translation.

This program is generously sponsored by the California Center for the Book, the California State Library, the Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, and Watsonville Public Library.


Sunnyvale Public Library invites you to tell us your American story. Whether the story is about immigration, living in America, or exploring what it means to be an American. Your story could be an essay, a letter to America, a poem or piece of visual art.

We all have our American stories and we want to celebrate yours! All entries will be displayed on Sunnyvale Public Library social media accounts.

Who can participate? Anyone ages 6 and up.

How do I participate? Email your work, with subject line “Your American Story,” along with a completed and signed copy of the submission form. For written works, please attach a Word or PDF document to the email. For visual works, please attach a photo (JPEG or PNG format only) or a document scan (PDF).

What kinds of works can I submit?

  • Essays, stories, letters (500 words or less)
  • Artwork
  • Poems

Submissions accepted April 1 to May 31, 2021. Entries shared with the public in June, 2021.

Your American Story Submission Form

Your American Story Submission Form SPANISH

Storytelling Workshops*
For Adults
Thursday, April 29, 2 to 3 p.m.
Thursday, May 13, 7 to 8 p.m.
*This program was rerescheduled from May 6. 

Register for Book to Action: Storytelling Workshop on April 29

Register for Book to Action: Storytelling Workshop on May 13.

Join us for this hands-on workshop where we will explore all forms of storytelling. Using themes of belonging, heritage and immigration, we will reflect on what it means to be an American.

Book to Action sponsored in part by the Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library.

Book to Action 2021 initiatives tackle important issues in the community. They encourage reading, community discussion and action. The Big 3 themes that libraries and communities are focused on in 2021 are Equity, Sustainability, and Health. 

Book to Action is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

De Libro a Acción es un programa de la Asociación de Bibliotecas de California, apoyada enteramente o en parte por el Instituto de Servicios Bibliotecarios y de Museo de Estados Unidos conforme a lo dispuesto por la Ley de Servicios Bibliotecarios y Tecnología, administrada en California por la Bibliotecaria del Estado.

*Program Disclaimer
This program uses a third-party website link. By attending this program, you may be using a website not operated by the Sunnyvale Public Library. For privacy concerns or questions review Zoom's privacy policies.

As a reminder, all Sunnyvale Public Library programs and events are FREE. The Library will never ask you for any form of payment, including credit cards, to attend events.

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.

March 14, 2021

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2017