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    Celebrate Black History Month by reading and sharing the same book(s) at the same time over the Autumn. Share your views about these books, specially selected by local libraries, online at Norfolk Library Book Review Blog. More information is available on the notice boards in each of the participating libraries.

    Location:
    Norfolk libraries (specific locations below)
    Admission:
    Free
    Accessibility:
    Fully accessible

    October events

    Acle
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Acle
    My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson
    Attleborough
    Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
    Attleborough
    Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Parkes
    Aylsham
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
    Caister
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith
    Costessey
    Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed
    Diss
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    Gorleston
    Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
    Harleston
    Marrowbone Marble Company by Glenn Taylor
    Hellesdon
    Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
    Hethersett
    The Dying Wish by Courttia Newland
    Hethersett
    Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
    Mile Cross
    Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
    Mundesley
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    Norwich
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Norwich
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    Reepham
    Long Song by Andrea Levy
    Sprowston
    Love by Toni Morrison
    Swaffham
    Look We Have Coming To Dover! by Daljit Nagra
    Tuckswood
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    West Earlham
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    Great Yarmouth
    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Great Yarmouth
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

    October & November events

    Dersingham
    Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson
    Fakenham
    Little Soldier by Bernard Ashley
    Hingham
    Marshmallows for Breakfast by Dorothy Koomson
    Holt
    Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
    King’s Lynn
    Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
    King’s Lynn
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
    Taverham
    Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman
    Wymondham
    Hello Mum by Bernadine Evaristo
    Wymondham
    Look We Have Coming To Dover! by Daljit Nagra

    Acle Village Reads

    Half of a Yellow Sun
    ↪ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    The novel is set in 1960s Nigeria, during a vicious civil war in which a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood. A young boy from a poor village employed at a university lecturer’s house, a middle-class woman confronting the reality of her relatives’ deaths and a white writer who falls in love with a local woman, are swept up in the violence during these turbulent years.

    My Best Friend’s Girl
    ↪ by Dorothy Koomson

    What would you do for the friend who broke your heart? Best friends Kamryn and Adele thought nothing could come between them, until Adele slept with Kamryn’s fiancé, Nate. Worse still, she got pregnant and had his child. When Kamryn discovered the truth about their betrayal she vowed never to see any of them again.

    Location:
    Acle: Acle Public Library, Bridewell Lane, NR13 3RA
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01493 750693

    Attleborough Town Reads

    Noughts & Crosses
    ↪ by Malorie Blackman

    Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools… Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger.

    Tail of the Blue Bird
    ↪ by Nii Parkes

    Sonokrom, a village in the Ghanaian hinterland, has not changed for thousands of years. Here, the men and women speak the language of the forest, drink aphrodisiacs with their palm wine and walk alongside the spirits of their ancestors. The discovery of sinister remains, possibly human, definitely ‘evil’, in a vanished man’s hut brings the modern world into the village in the form of Kayo, a young forensic pathologist convinced that scientific logic can shatter even the most inexplicable of mysteries.

    Location:
    Attleborough: Attleborough Public Library, 31 Connaught Road, NR17 2BW
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01953 452319

    Aylsham Town Read

    A Lesson Before Dying
    ↪ by Ernest J. Gaines

    Join us, and the rest of Aylsham, in reading this story of a young black man sentenced to death for a murder he didn’t commit.

    Books will be available from 30th September - 2nd November.

    Location:
    Aylsham: Aylsham Public Library, 7 Hungate Street, NR11 6AA
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01263 732320

    Caister Village Read

    White Teeth by Zadie Smith
    ↪ by Zadie Smith

    The story travels through Jamaica, Turkey, Bangladesh and India but ends up in a scrubby North London borough, home of the book’s two unlikely heroes: prevaricating Archie Jones and intemperate Samad Iqbal.

    Location:
    Caister: Caister Public Library, Beach Road, NR30 5EX
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01493 720594

    Costessey Community Read

    Black Mamba Boy
    ↪ by Nadifa Mohamed

    Aden, Yemen, 1935. A city vibrant, alive, and full of hidden dangers. And home to Jama, a ten year-old boy. But then his mother dies unexpectedly and he finds himself alone in the world.

    Location:
    Norwich: Costessey Public Library, Breckland Road, NR5 0RW
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 742669

    Diss Town Read & Mundesley Village Read

    The Help
    ↪ by Kathryn Stockett

    Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962, where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver. There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.

    Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it.

    Location:
    Diss: Diss Public Library, Church St, IP22 4DD
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01379 642609

    Gorleston Town Read & Mile Cross Read

    Baking Cakes in Kigali
    ↪ by Gaile Parkin

    Meet Angel Tungaraza, professional cake-baker, amateur matchmaker, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. A uniquely charming, funny and touching novel of life and food set in Rwanda, a country recovering from unimaginable terror and violence.

    Location:
    Gorleston: Gorleston Public Library, Lowestoft Road, NR31 6SG
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01493 662561

    Harleston Town Read

    Marrowbone Marble Company
    ↪ by Glenn Taylor

    A powerful novel of love and war, righteousness and redemption, and the triumph of the human spirit. From the author of the critically-acclaimed The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart comes this sweeping novel of love and war, power and oppression, faith and deception, set over the course of three defining American decades.

    Location:
    Harleston: Harleston Public Library, Swan Lane, IP20 9AW
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01379 852549

    Hellesdon Town Read

    Devil in a Blue Dress
    ↪ by Walter Mosley

    The summer of 1948 in the City of Angels and there’s heat on the streets and in the ghettos of LA when Daphne Monet hits the sidewalk. Heat when she disappears with a trunkload of someone else’s cash. ‘I’m just asking you to find a girl...’ A simple decision for Easy Rawlins – no job, a mortgage and money due. Simple but for one thing. Nobody ever warned him – better the devil you know.

    Books will be available from 30 th September - 31 st October PLUS Pop-up Book Group 18 th October 2 PM-3.30 PM, with free tea and cake!

    Location:
    Norwich: Hellesdon Public Library, Woodview Road, NR6 5SR
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 427790

    Hethersett Village Reads

    The Dying Wish
    ↪ by Courttia Newland

    The story travels through Jamaica, Turkey, Bangladesh and India but ends up in a scrubby North London borough, home of the book’s two unlikely heroes: prevaricating Archie Jones and intemperate Samad Iqbal.

    Mudbound
    ↪ by Hillary Jordan

    When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud. As the Second World War shudders to an end, two young men return from Europe to help work the farm only to face far more dangerous battles against ingrained bigotry.

    Location:
    Hethersett: Hethersett Public Library, Queens Road, NR9 3DB
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    0344 800 8006

    Norwich Reads

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    ↪ by Harper Lee

    In 1960, on the cusp of the US Civil Rights movement, Harper Lee’s one and only novel was published and has since become one of the best-loved stories of all time.

    The Color Purple
    ↪ by Alice Walker

    A powerful insight into the problems faced by an African American woman over 40 years from the early 1900s including poverty, racism and sex discrimination.

    Location:
    Norwich: The Forum, Millennium Plain, NR2 1TF
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 774774

    Reepham Village Read

    Long Song
    ↪ by Andrea Levy

    July is a slave girl who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity and it is her life that is the subject of this tale. She was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and she was present when slavery was declared no more.

    Location:
    Reepham: Reepham Public Library, Bircham Institute, Market Place, NR10 4JJ
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 870474

    Sprowston Community Read

    Love
    ↪ by Toni Morrison

    This audacious vision of the nature of love – its appetite, its sublime possession, its dread – is rich in characters and striking scenes, and in its profound understanding of how alive the past can be.

    Location:
    Sprowston: Sprowston Public Library, Recreation Ground Road, NR7 8EW
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 408426

    Swaffham Town Read

    Look We Have Coming To Dover!
    ↪ by Daljit Nagra

    Taking in its sights Matthew Arnold’s ‘land of dreams’, Nagra explores the idealism and reality of multicultural Britain with wit, intelligence and no small sense of mischief.

    Location:
    Swaffham: Swaffham Public Library, The Pightle, PE37 7DF
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01760 721513

    Tuckswood & West Earlham Reads

    Beloved
    ↪ by Toni Morrison

    Terrible, unspeakable things happened to Sethe at Sweet Home, the farm where she lived as a slave for so many years until she escaped to Ohio. Her new life is full of hope but eighteen years later she is still not free. Sethe’s new home is not only haunted by the memories of her past but also by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

    Location:
    Norwich: Tuckswood Public Library, Robin Hood Road, NR4 6BX
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 452038

    Great Yarmouth Reads

    Purple Hibiscus
    ↪ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    The limits of 15 year old Kambili’s world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her fanatically religious father. When Nigeria is shaken by a military coup, Kambili’s father sends her to live with her aunt. In this house, noisy and full of laughter, she discovers life and love – and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family.

    The Secret Life of Bees
    ↪ by Sue Monk Kidd

    Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, Lily feels compelled to act.

    Location:
    Great Yarmouth: Great Yarmouth Public Library, Tolhouse Street, NR30 2SH
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01493 844551

    Dersingham Village Read

    Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
    ↪ by Christie Watson

    Lagos, Nigeria. Blessing’s Mama found Father lying on top of another woman. It’s bad enough when her father abandons them. But when her mother loses her job, they have to leave home and move into her grandfather’s compound. Living with a poor countryside family is a shock beyond measure.

    Location:
    Dersingham: Dersingham Public Library, Chapel Road, PE31 6PN
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01485 540181

    Fakenham Town Read

    Little Soldier
    ↪ by Bernard Ashley

    When Kaninda survives a brutal attack on his village in East Africa he joins the rebel army. However, aid workers take him to London, to a new home and family. Kaninda soon learns that clan and tribal conflicts surround him, estate versus estate and urban tribe against urban tribe.

    Location:
    Fakenham: Fakenham Public Library, Oak Street, NR21 9DY
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01328 862715

    Hingham Town Read

    Marshmallows for Breakfast
    ↪ by Dorothy Koomson

    When Kendra Tamale returns to England from Australia she rents a room from Kyle, a divorced father of two, and begins a new job. She’s looking forward to a fresh start and a simple life. Then she bumps into the man who shares her awful secret, and things fall apart. The only way to fix them is to confess to the terrible mistake she made.

    Location:
    Hingham: Hingham Public Library, The Fairland, NR9 4HW
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01953 850621

    Holt Town Read

    Calling Me Home
    ↪ by Julie Kibler

    Shalerville, Kentucky, 1939 is a world where black maids and handymen are trusted to raise white children and tend to white houses, but from which they are banished after dark. Sixteen-year-old Isabelle McAllister, born into wealth and privilege, finds her ordered life turned upside down when she becomes attracted to Robert, the ambitious black son of her family’s housekeeper. Before long Isabelle and Robert are crossing extraordinary, dangerous boundaries and falling deeply in love.

    Location:
    Holt: Holt Public Library, Church Street, NR25 6BB
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01263 712202

    King’s Lynn Town Reads

    Pigeon English
    ↪ by Stephen Kelman

    Eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku, the second best runner in Year 7, races through his new life in England with his personalised trainers – the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen – blissfully unaware of the very real threat around him. Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister Lydia, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of city life. But his life is changed forever when one of his friends is murdered.

    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
    ↪ by Mildred D. Taylor

    Cassie Logan finds it hard to understand why the family farm means so much to her dad. She finds it even harder growing up in a place like Mississippi in the 1930s. But as she witnesses the hatred and destruction all around her, Cassie begins to see why she must find strength in the people she loves and stand up for what she believes.

    Location:
    King’s Lynn: King’s Lynn Public Library, London Road, PE30 5EZ
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01553 772568

    Taverham Village Read

    Scottsboro
    ↪ by Ellen Feldman

    Alabama, 1931. A posse stops a freight train and arrests nine black youths. Their crime: fighting with white boys. Then two white girls emerge from another freight car, and within seconds the cry of rape goes up. One of the girls sticks to her story. The other changes her tune, again and again. A young journalist fights to save the nine youths from the electric chair, redeem the girl who repents her lie, and make amends for her own past.

    Location:
    Taverham: Taverham Public Library, Sandy Lane, NR8 6JR
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01603 260545

    Wymondham Town Reads

    Hello Mum
    ↪ by Bernadine Evaristo

    It is a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop and a teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street. Hello Mum is a powerful and moving novel about a frightening current issue.

    Look We Have Coming To Dover!
    ↪ by Daljit Nagra

    Taking in its sights Matthew Arnold’s ‘land of dreams’, Nagra explores the idealism and reality of multicultural Britain with wit, intelligence and no small sense of mischief.

    Location:
    Wymondham: Wymondham Public Library, Back Lane, NR18 0QB
    Admission:
    Free
    Telephone:
    01953 603319

What is Black History Month?

Here we detail some of the ideas and history behind the annual celebration.

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November 2013
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