#Augvocacy2018: Raise a Reader, A Future Generation of Leaders + Giveaway

This month marks the celebration of “Buwan ng Wika” (National Language Month), one of the yearly events we observed here in the Philippines for the entire month of August. The Buwan ng Wika celebration also highlights linguistic and cultural activities all over the country.Logo - Full Color (on white)In line with this, my incredible, amazing fellow Filipino book blogger, Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch has organized the first ever Augvocacy entitled, “Fostering a Culture of Reading in the Philippines”.

What is Augvocacy if you may ask?

Essentially, Augvocacy aspires to bring together like-minded people in actively forwarding a particular advocacy. Held annually on the month of August, this project aims to forward a different, yet nonetheless important, agenda each year. (Read more here)

As one of the participating Augvocates, I am humbled to be a part of this wonderful project! So, this year my chosen topic is, “Raise a Reader, A Future Generation of Leaders”.

During an interview with the Augvocates, I have mentioned how even during the colonial times, reading is a weapon. It’s one of the most essential things that help us to get ahead in life. Whether we do it for learning or fun, reading has a great deal to our life’s successes.

It always starts on the early stages of a person’s development. I don’t exactly want to talk about parenting stuffs here but what I have today is the need of pointing out that we can raise a reader as early as now who would be prepared in all facets of life.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Leaders are readers”? Well, as history reminds us, from Rizal as Bibliophile to Bonifacio who grew up to be a voracious reader, it was evident that one of the most common shared interest leaders have is reading. But how do we exactly raise a reader to be leaders?

📘 Be a reader

Children mimics us a 100% most of the time. They always love to do what they have seen from us. If you do not know yet, the little ones are the greatest imitator that ever walk on earth. So, if you want to raise a reader, show them that you are also a reader. Be the role model! Remember that setting as a good example equates to becoming a good leader and to be a leader means to be a good follower. If they see that you’re enjoying it, there’s no doubt that they will grow loving it.

Mae Respicio, debut author of the recently released middle grade novel, The House That Lou Built, agreed and said, “If someone’s an avid reader they’re well on their way to becoming a leader. My advice is to keep them reading. Read aloud to your kids, read to them, set a reading routine—and let them see you enjoying books, too! That sets a foundation that books are valued. Reading challenges you in so many ways; understanding that words are powerful sets kids off on the right path for leadership.”

Mae Respicio Augvocacy

📘 Start them early

It’s normal that not everyone will love reading. In fact, most of us find it hard to read even the newspaper. That same goes with the young ones whose interests were a bit different. Therefore, instead of forcing reading in to them, it is better if we find the patience to motivate them. That is why we have to start them early because no one is too young to dive into books. So, make it a habit, a hobby, until you can’t pry the books away from them. This way, they will have the foundation they need to develop a culture of reading.

📘 Choose the right books

Personally, I apply P.I.C.K (Purpose, Interest, Comprehension, and Know the Words) when selecting books for my kids. Introducing them with books that represent who they are—their race, heritage, culture and history. Not only have we chosen books that will empower them but also would make them feel that they do belong. More so, would leave an imprint in their lives as they grow up, preparing them for the real world.

Debut middle-grade authors, Marie Miranda Cruz and Tanya Guerrero are just some of those authors that wrote books that represent us, Filipinos. When asked how we can raise a generation of readers to be leaders, they have both answered that choosing the right books is indeed important.

Marie, author of Everlasting Nora, said, “I believe we can raise a generation of readers to be leaders by giving kids books that nurture empathy toward their fellow human beings. Where there is empathy, there is a desire for progressive change within a community and beyond.”

Marie Miranda Cruz Auvocacy

While Tanya, who came from a multicultural background, pointed out the need for diverse books. When asked the same question, she said, “In my opinion, what is usually lacking from school reading lists is diversity. Children need to read stories by authors from around the world, and from all walks of life. This is the best way to teach compassion, and it’s compassion that will make our children become better future leaders. For me it’s particularly important to introduce #ownvoices books written by people from different cultures, especially those living in other countries other than the US and UK. Our children need to know that the world is a big place and that they need to be aware of what’s going on outside their own communities.”

She also shared how she doesn’t want to pressure her 8-year-old daughter, Violet, into reading specific topics especially now that she’s just only in the beginning stages of reading: “I want her to first learn to love reading, which I believe is a huge challenge in a society that is obsessed with gadgets. Once that love is established, then we as parents can begin to influence our children to read widely.”

Tanya Guererro Augvocacy

📘 Don’t stop reading

It does not mean that when they already knew how to read, we will stop teaching them. I remember myself saying before that reading is the easiest thing we can pass to our kids besides our genes. Like any other process, reading is a continuous learning not only to children but also to us, adults. That being said, I don’t even think for one second that leaders ever stop being a reader.

Augvocacy DiscussionHow about you? In your own opinion, how can we raise a generation of readers to be leaders? Let me know in the comments below!

You love this Augvocacy? Interested joining next year? Oh! I bet you do. Go to That Bookshelf Bitch because she deserves all the love and please don’t forget that it’s her birthday this month!

Augvocacy Giveaway ScheduleAugvocacy 2018 schedule (01)

Don’t forget to check the full schedule and visit these wonderful Augvocates to learn more about #Augvocacy2018.
August 1
— Event launch on That Bookshelf BitchAugust 2
— Gail D. Villanueva (Author)
— Shealea (That Bookshelf Bitch)
August 3
— JM (Book Freak Revelations)
— Erica (Living a Hundred Lives)
— Erika (The Nocturnal Fey)
August 4
— Danielle (Guest on That Bookshelf Bitch)
— Justine (Bookish Wisps)
August 5
— Nicay (The Nerdy Side of a Queen)
— Shaira (Guest on That Bookshelf Bitch)
August 6
— Paula (Perks Be With You)
— Shannel (Rambles of a Reader)
August 7
— Alexia (The Bookworm Daydreamer)
— Cha (The Literary Siren)
August 8
— KB (Bookbed)
— Bianca (The Ultimate Fangirl)
August 09
— Inah (The Bibliophile Confessions)
Karlita (Tale Out Loud – That’s me!)
August 10
— Ynnah (The Youngvamp’s Haven)
— Rosemarie (Wanders Between Pages)
August 11
— Aimee (Aimee, Always)
— Mari (Andico Mari)
August 12
— Patricia (Book Geek Musings)
— Shaine (Wanderer in Neverland)
August 13
— Kate (The Backwards Bookshelf)
— Kess Costales (Aspiring author)
August 14
— Event recap and highlights on That Bookshelf Bitch

Tale Out Loud DividerPrize: Paperback copy of The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
Winners: Two (2) — one Filipino winner, one INT’L winner (provided that Book Depository ships to their country)
Duration: August 1st (12 mn) to September 1st (12 mn)Rafflecopter Giveaway



Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 18 Filipino Authors You Should Know About

Asian Pacific American Heritage MonthBefore this month come to an end, I would like to share internationally published Filipino authors in line with the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month who deserve all the attention and praise like most mainstream celebrities get.

I didn’t know about APAHM before but thanks to Kate of The Backward Bookshelf who shared her favorite Asian authors for this month’s event. So do check and read her post.Rin ChupecoRin Chupeco is a Filipino YA author published by SourceBooks Fire. She’s the author of The Girl from the Well and The Suffering. She worked as a technical writer and travel blogger before becoming a full-time author.

The finale to her Bone Witch TrilogyThe Shadow Glass, is forthcoming March 2019.The Bone Witch Trilogy by Rin ChupecoLygia Day PeñaflorLygia Day Peñaflor is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Law & Order SVU, Boardwalk Empire, as well as I Am Legend.

She is the author of Unscripted Joss Byrd which has been awarded A Junior Library Guild Selection” for fall 2016. Her latest novel, All of This is True, was published recently by HarperTeen US and  Bloomsbury UK.Unscripted Joss Byrd, All of This is True

Erin Entrada KellyErin Entrada Kelly received the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe, the 2017 APALA Award for The Land of Forgotten Girls, and the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird Fly.

She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Erin is also a short story writer and her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. You Go First is her latest book published by Greenwillow Books.Erin Entrada Kelly BooksMarie Cruz
Everlastong NoraMarie Miranda Cruz is a writer of middle-grade and young adult novels, a clinical laboratory specialist, a proud mother of two grown up kids and the wife of a Jedi Knight.

Her debut middle-grade novel, Everlasting Nora, is about a twelve-year-old girl who became homeless after a fire destroyed her home and killed her father. Nora and her mother are forced to live in the Manila North Cemetery where the poor sleep among the dead. All Nora wants is to live in a real home but when her mother goes missing, she discovers there’s more to the meaning of home than she’s ever understood before. Coming soon from TOR Starscape.

Melissa de la CruzMelissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her more than thirty books have also topped the USA TodayWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and have been published in over twenty countries.

The Isle of the Lost, the prequel to the Disney Channel Original Movie The Descendants, followed by Rise of the Isle of the Lost and Return to the Isle of the Lost are just some of her novels in series.The Isle of the Lost TrilogyRhoda BellezaRhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Files fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials and watches kung fu movies.

She’s the author of Empress of a Thousand Skies and Blood of a Thousand Stars.Empress of a Thousand Skies, Blood of a Thousand StarsMaura MilanIgnite-the-StarsDebut author of Ignite the Stars, Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine—an exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles. She is a short, Filipino girl from Chicago, Illinois. Now, she resides in Los Angeles, where she can be found in cafes all throughout Koreatown, drinking green tea lattes. She has also placed a number of short films in festivals all over the United States and her most notable short film, “Crocodile” is based on her days running around the Australian outback during her summer vacations visiting the Aussie side of her family. Kate EvangelistaKate Evangelista is the author of the Dodge Cove TrilogyNo Love AllowedNo Second Chances and No Holding Back.

She is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently, she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines. Her new book, The Boyfriend Bracket, will be released on the 19th of June 2018.Dodge Cove TrilogyChristine BraeChristine Brae was born and raised in the city of Makati, Philippines before she met and married her best friend who whisked her away to Chicago over twenty years ago. Since then, Christine has established herself as a full time career woman, holding a senior executive position in one of the largest global advertising agencies in the world.

She is the author of four novels including InsipidThe Light in the WoundHis Wounded Light and In This LifeEight Goodbyes, a new novel published by Vesuvian Books is forthcoming August 2018.Christine Brae BooksJuleah del Rosario500 Words or LessJuleah del Rosario is a librarian at a university thus fulfilling her love of books and leafy green campuses simultaneously. Author in the in between hours. Born & raised in the Seattle area. Now calls Colorado home.

Her debut YA novel-in-verse, 500 Words or Less, follows a high school senior who attempts to salvage her reputation by writing her Ivy League-obsessed classmates’ college admission essays, while she struggles with a moral compass that no longer points north, published by Simon Pulse Fall 2018.Mae RespicioThe House That Lou BuiltMae Respicio grew up in Northern California and like the main character in her debut middle grade novel, The House That Lou Built, spent many childhood summers dancing in a Filipino folk dance troupe. Mae is a past recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. She’s been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook and Atlantic Center for the Arts and has published a variety of musings on parenthood.

Publication for Beach Season, her new middle grade novel is slated for 2020 by Random House/Lamb.Samantha SottoSamantha Sotto fell in love with Europe’s cobbled streets and damp castles when she moved to the Netherlands as a teenager. Since then, she has spent nights huddled next to her backpack on a Greek beach, honeymooned in Paris, and attended business meetings in Dusseldorf in the pleasant company of a corporate credit card.

Before Ever After, her first novel, was inspired by her experiences living, studying, and traveling through Europe. She is also the author of Love and Gravity, perfect for the fans of One Day and The Time Traveler’s Wife.Before Ever After, Love and GravityRandy RibayRandy Ribay is the author of the contemporary YA novels After the Shot Drops (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes (Merit Press/Simon & Schuster, 2015).

He was born in the Philippines but grew up in Michigan and Colorado. He’s also a high school English teacher, reader, gamer, watcher of great TV, husband, and father of two dog-children. Randy Ribay BooksSophia N. LeePrintSophia N. Lee lives in Manila, Philippines. She wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things through writing. She loves words and the meanings behind them. Her favorite word is ‘chance‘.

What Things Mean is her first book published by Scholastic Asia.Gail D. VillanuevaGail D. Villanueva is a Filipina kidlit author based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer/developer, an entrepreneur, and a self-professed dog and duck whisperer.

Her debut middle grade novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly , will be published in 2019 by Scholastic. It is about a superstitious soon-to-be 11-year-old Sab who believes her fate is sealed when she spots an ominous black butterfly. Determined to reconcile her journalist older sister and their father before her time is up, Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs.Roselle LimRoselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother’s) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

Her debut, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, forthcoming Summer 2019, is a heartwarming novel of magical realism in which an aspiring chef returns home to San Francisco following her estranged mother’s death and must master a series of enchanted recipes in order to revive her family’s old Chinatown restaurant.

Tanya GuererroTanya Guerrero was a Martial Law baby, born on September 18, 1975 during the height of the Marcos regime in the Philippines. Her young childhood in Manila was colorful and chaotic—days and nights were spent climbing trees, riding horses, dancing ballet and mingling with the glitterati at all-night costume parties.

Now that she’s a children’s book author, her goal is to create stories and characters that reflect my own experiences, as well as the experiences of children who were like her—biracial, Filipino or Spanish. The Wild Side, which is her debut middle-grade book will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan in Winter 2020.Janella AngelesJanella Angeles is a Filipino-American YA writer and avid book-hoarder who works in children’s publishing by day while penning novels by night. She graduated from Emerson College with a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, but found the most valuable way of learning to write was in creating glorious Harry Potter fanfiction and reading obscene amounts of books.

Where Dreams Descend is the first book in the Kingdom of Cards Duology, pitched as The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge. The story follows Hellfire House’s star showgirl who, haunted by a dark past, must enter a magician’s competition in order to secure her freedom from the handsome, enigmatic keeper of the club, even as mysterious accidents seem to plague her every move. The first book is slated for publication in 2020 by Wednesday Books.

National Poetry Month: 16 Books for a Year Round Poetry Reading

National Poetry MonthOne of the things we celebrate during the month of April is the National Poetry Month. Being the largest literary celebration in the world, it encourages a year round reading of poems and appreciate the art of poetry or how vital it is in our culture.

For the past few years, poetry emerged as one of the sought favorite genre among today’s generation of readers as it transpired an irrevocable raw feelings and strong emotions hidden within words, verse or even lyrics to a song.

Taking part in this celebration, I would love to share some of the poetry books that I love or read from authors who I admire and continue to inspire me to bare myself with writing. I’ve also included books that I’m looking forward to read which will be released in the next couple of months.Tale Out Loud Divider

 The Chaos of Longing
The Chaos of Longing 
by K.Y. Robinson
the art of
letting you go
hasn’t been
a graceful one.This is one of the books I read that pull me out of poetry reading slump. The Chaos of Longing is raw, unfiltered with sharp emotions that will cut you through the bones.Organized in four sections – Inception, Longing, Chaos, and Epiphany – K.Y. Robinson’s debut poetry collection explores what it is to want in spite of trauma, shame, injustice, and mental illness. It is one survivor’s powerful testimony, and a love letter “to those who lie awake burning”.
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by Melissa M. Tripp
If you’re going to
be in competition
with anyone,compete with yesterday’s
version of yourself.Root is an intimate digest of short poems and navigational communication. A 40-page journal appears in the back of the book for readers to record their thoughts and realities. Author, Melissa M. Tripp’s hope is that this book will provoke reflection and depth through a subset of underground truths.
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 Depression & Other Magic Tricks
Depression & Other Magic Tricks 
by Sabrina Benaim
i held hands
with my sadness,
sang it songs in the shower,
fed it lunch,
got it drunk
& put it to bed early.Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 5,000,000 views.This collection of poems explore themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produce a work of endless wonder.
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 Our Numbered Days
Our Numbered Days 
by Neil Hilborn
Have you ever set a field on fire and called it a birthday candle?Neil Hilborn writes in his debut full-length collection, Our Numbered Days. In 2013, Hilborn’s poem “OCD” went viral, and has amassed over 11 million views to date. While this collection ruminates on love, heartbreak, and mental illness, these poems are anything but saccharine. Hilborn uses the same humor and self-deprecation that propelled “OCD” to success in order to make his unmatched vulnerability all the more powerful. Ultimately, Hilborn is a poet of the people: his work is accessible, honest, and entertaining–a revitalizing entry in contemporary poetry.
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 Neon Soul
Neon Soul 
by Alexandra Elle
because saying no
will sometimes be
the thing that saves
your soul.Neon Soul is a poetry book written about hope, recovery, self love and self worth.Alexandra Elle writes frankly about her experience as a young, single mother while she celebrates her triumph over adversity and promotes resilience and self-care in her readers. This book of all-new poems from the beloved author of Words From A Wanderer and Love In My Language is a quotable companion on the road to healing.
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by Pierre Alex Jeanty
She’s a lioness,
wild at heart
strong in mind
fire in her bones
love in her veins.
Her is a collection of poetry and prose about women, their strengths and beauty. Every woman should know the feelings of being loved and radiating those feelings back to her mate. This is a beautiful expression of heartfelt emotion using short, gratifying sentiments. If there is a lover in you, you will not get enough of “Her.”
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 Milk and Honey
Milk and Honey 
by Rupi Kaur
our backs
tell stories
no books have
the spine to
carryMilk and Honey, is a New York Times bestselling collection of poetry and prose about survival, the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes listeners through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them—because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
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 Explorations of a Cosmic Soul
Explorations of a Cosmic Soul 
by Allie Michelle
If you think all you are
Is who you could be
Then you will never experience
Your own divinity
Explorations of a Cosmic Soul is a collection of poems that contemplate consciousness. It explores the duality of what it means to be human in a world that has so much light and darkness. By exploring within ourselves, we will find the answers and love we have always been seeking.
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 Light Filters In: Poems
Light Filters In: Poems 
by Caroline Kaufman
it’s okay if some things
are always out of reach.
if you could carry all the stars
in the palm of your hand,
they wouldn’t be
half as breathtakingIn Light Filters In, Caroline Kaufman—known as @poeticpoison—does what she does best: reflects our own experiences back at us and makes us feel less alone, one exquisite and insightful piece at a time. She writes about giving up too much of yourself to someone else, not fitting in, endlessly Googling “how to be happy,” and ultimately figuring out who you are.
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 Please Don't Go Before I Get Better
Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better 
by Madisen Kuhn
Chronicling the complexities, joys, and challenges of this transitional phase of life, Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better is a powerful, deeply affecting work that pierces your heart with its refreshing candor and vulnerability. A poignant exploration of self-image, self-discovery, and self-reflection, this anthology brilliantly captures the universal experience of growing up, and you are bound to find yourself reflected in these glimmering pages.
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 Sisters' Entrance
Sisters’ Entrance 
by Emtithal Mahmoud
2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and Woman of the World co-Champion Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud presents her hauntingly beautiful debut poetry collection.Brimming with rage, sorrow, and resilience, this collection traverses an expansive terrain: genocide; diaspora; the guilt of surviving; racism and Islamophobia; the burdens of girlhood; the solace of sisterhood; the innocence of a first kiss.Heart-wrenching and raw, defiant and empowering, Sisters’ Entrance explores how to speak the unspeakable.
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 Yesterday I Was the Moon
Yesterday I Was The Moon 
by Noor Unnahar
Yesterday I Was The Moon centers around themes of love and emotional loss, the catharsis of creating art, and the struggle to find one’s voice. Noor’s poetry ranges from succinct universal truths to flowery prose exploring her heritage, what it means to find a physical and emotional home, and the intimate and painful dance of self-discovery. Her poetry and art has already inspired thousands of fans on Instagram to engage with her words through visual journal entries and posts of their own, and her fan base only continues to grow.
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R E D 
by Chase Berggrun
A long poem in 27 chapters, R E D excavates from Stoker’s text an original narrative of violence, sexual abuse, power dynamics, vengeance, and feminist rage while wrestling with the complexities of gender, transition, and monsterhood.
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by Trista Mateer
Honeybee is an honest take on walking away and still feeling like you were walked away from. It’s about cutting love loose like a kite string and praying the wind has the decency to carry it away from you. It’s an ode to the back and forth, the process of letting something go but not knowing where to put it down.Consider Honeybee a memoir in verse, or at the very least, a story written by one of today’s most confessional poets.
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 The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic
The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic 
by Mahogany L. Browne
The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic continues and deepens the work of the first BreakBeat Poets anthology by focusing on some of the most exciting Black women writing today. This anthology breaks up the myth of hip-hop as a boys’ club, and asserts the truth that the cypher is a feminine form.
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 The Wallflower That Bloomed
The Wallflower That Bloomed 
by Catherine C. Berquin
A thought-provoking collaboration of free verse poems about lesbian love, intimacy, and relationship issues, The Wallflower That Bloomed inspires and encourages those who have dealt with heartache to move forward with courage.The Wallflower That Bloomed also strives to create a sense of community and unity among people who have experienced heartbreak or discrimination, showing them they aren’t alone in their struggles. And, through the author’s own transformation from a victim of pain to a courageous young woman, it demonstrates that no matter how rough the going gets, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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16 Books for a Year Round Poetry Reading