verona reads!

We are excited to announce Verona Reads! 

Verona Reads! is a community-wide reading project where the entire community comes together to read and discuss the same book. We will be giving away free copies of two books, one for adults and teens and one for younger readers, both by Native American authors. The book giveaway will be held on Thursday, May 26 starting at 5:30 pm. Books will be available while supplies last. 

Verona Reads! continues throughout June and July with a variety of book discussions and related programs, and a virtual author visit from author Angeline Boulley on June 23. See our full list of events below.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley - Verona Reads! selection for Adult and Teen readers

Firekeeper's Daughter is an electrifying thriller layered with a rich exploration of the modern Native experience, a reckoning of current and historical injustices, and a powerful celebration of community. 

Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, either in her hometown or on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of college, but when her family is struck by tragedy she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, a new recruit on her brother Levi's hockey team. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. How far will she go to protect her community, if it threatens to tear apart the only world she's ever known?

About the Author
Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibew community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Angeline lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island. Firekeeper’s Daughter is her debut novel, and was an instant #1 NYT Bestseller. The book has been named the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, the Printz Award, the William C. Morris award for YA debut literature, and was an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book.



Healer of the Water Monster by Brian Young - Verona Reads! selection for younger readers

Brian Young’s powerful debut novel tells of a seemingly ordinary Navajo boy who must save the life of a Water Monster—and comes to realize he’s a hero at heart.

When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer, with no electricity or cell service. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his uncle Jet, though it’s clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him. One night, while lost in the nearby desert, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story—a Water Monster—in need of help. Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster, and to support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain.

Healer of the Water Monster is an American Indian Youth Literature Award Winner: Best Middle Grade Book 

About the Author
Author and filmmaker Brian Young is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He grew up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Brian earned his BA in Film Studies at Yale University and his MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. Brian currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.





Verona Reads! Event Guide

Verona Reads! Free Book Giveaway
Thursday, May 26, 5:30 pm
Pick up your free copy of Firekeeper’s Daughter and the Healer of the Water Monster. Limited copies available. One copy per family. 

Wisconsin Dells Singers & Dance Troupe
Thursday, June 2, 6:30-7:30 pm
Wisconsin Dells Singers & Dance Troupe, and Elliott Funmaker Sr. of the Ho-Chunk and Meskwaki Nations, will perform traditional songs, stories, and dances of the Ho-Chunk people. Music CD’s will be available for sale and signing.
Register for this event

People of the Sacred Language
Tuesday, June 7, 6:30-7:30 pm
The Ho-Chunk, People of the Sacred Language, have called Wisconsin home for centuries. They continue to exist and have overcome disease, genocide, removal, and colonization. Learn about the journey and how they continue to remain resilient and strong. Storyteller and Ho-Chunk tribal member, Andi Cloud, shares history, culture, and stories.
Register for this event

Senior Center Book Group Reads Firekeeper's Daughter
Wednesday, June 8, 10:00-11:00 am
The Senior Center Book Group will be meeting to discuss Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley in person at the Verona Senior Center. Copies of the book are available in regular and large print as well as audiobook and ebook format. Visit the service desk inside the library to get a copy. No registration required. Everyone is welcome!

Firekeeper's Daughter Book Discussions
Thursday, June 9, 6:30-7:30 pm
Thursday, June 16, 6:30-7:30 pm
We will meet and discuss Firekeeper’s Daughter. Copies of the book are available at the service desk for checkout.
Register for the June 9 discussion / Register for the June 16 discussion

Meet the Author: Brian Young - Virtual
Tuesday, June 14, 6:30-7:30 pm
Author Brian Young will discuss his novel, Healer of the Water Monster, and share information about the Diné culture, history and belief system.
Register for this event

Meet the Author: Angeline Boulley - Virtual
Thursday, June 23, 7:00-8:15 pm
Author, Angeline Boulley will discuss her debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community. This program will be presented via Zoom. Register in advance so we can send the Zoom link via email.
Register for this event

A Look at Food, Culture and History of the Woodland Area
Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Executive chef and founder of Wild Bearies, Elena Terry, will speak about the connection traditional food culture has with Natives of the woodland area while addressing the beauty of sharing a meal with someone. Terry will discuss how Wild Bearies is working to build a stronger community, one dish at a time.
Register for this event

Healer of the Water Monster Book Discussions
Thursday, June 30, 4:00-5:00 pm
Tuesday, July 5, 6:00-7:00 pm
Monday, July 11, 3:00-4:00 pm
Discuss our kids' community read, Healer of the Water Monster by Brian Young, plus enjoy activities and snacks related to the book. Ages 8 - 13.
Register for the June 30 discussion / Register for the July 5 discussion / Register for the July 11 discussion

Firekeeper's Daughter Book Discussion for Teens
Monday, July 11, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Ages 14-18. Enjoy snacks with other teens while discussing our community read, Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley.
Register for this event

Verona Reads! is made possible by our sponsors the Verona Public Library Endowment Fund and Friends of the Verona Public Library.