After being prompted by the murder of George Floyd and national protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, community members in Reston are turning to local bookstores for resources on systemic racism and the black community.
Scrawl Books, located at 11911 Freedom Drive, has already sold hundreds of anti-racism books, according to manager Molly McMahon.
“We have seen a profound uptick in sales for books by and about people of color, diversity, black lives matter issues and titles that address the causes and effects of racism (both fiction and nonfiction) over the past few weeks,” she said.
In the coming weeks, the location will also be organizing free books talks and events to help promote activism and education.
On Thursday (June 18), guests can tune into Zoom to hear from Daven McQueen about her new novel, “The Invincible Summer or Juniper Jones,” which focuses on a biracial adolescent sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Alabama in 1955,” according to McMahon.
Some of the best sellers so far include “‘How to be an Antiracist‘ by Ibram X. Kendi, ‘Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America‘ by Ibram X. Kendi and ‘White Fragility‘ by Robin D’Angelo,” McMahon said.
Because of high demand across the country, some of the books are on back-order form publishers, according to McMahon but they would once again be available on shelves later this month.
“We ensure our inventory increases along with demand for specific titles and topics, so we can fill orders as quickly as possible,” she said.
At the shop, some of McMahon’s favorite titles for all ages from Black authors include:
- Poetry: DaMaris Hill, “A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland“
- Science Fiction: NK Jemisin , “The City We Became“) and Octavia Butler, “Parable of the Sower“
- Fiction: Kiley Reid (Such a Fun Age), Jacqueline Woodson, “Red at the Bone” and Colson Whitehead, “The Nickel Boys“
- Classics: James Baldwin “If Beale Street Could Talk“
- Memoir: Trevor Noah, “Born a Crime “
- Middle grade/kids fiction: Renee Watson,”Betty Before X,” and Alicia D. Williams, “Genesis Begins Again“
- Kids picture books: Kwame Alexander, “The Undefeated” and Vashti Harrison, “Little Legends” / “Little Leaders“
For those wanting to explore other local shops around town, Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza North Lake Anne) also carries titles from black authors, but given the nature of a used book shop, one employee said they cannot guarantee that they will have specific titles.
“There’s been an increase in requests,” said one of the employees at Reston’s Used Book Shop. “Because we are a used book store, its just a matter of what we have in the shop.”
People can call the store at 703-435-9772 if they want to find out if a specific title is in stock.
Photo via Mahogany L. Browne/Facebook
A local bookshop plans to “purge” textbooks published by Pearson from its education section following a New York Times’ report that found the publisher’s American history textbooks offer different histories on highly partisan topics.
The investigation found that the publisher and others presented information on the Second Amendment, civil rights, capital, immigration and other topics differently in California and Texas.
For example, a California textbook explains how rulings on the Second Amendment leave space for some gun regulations. The Texas edition of the book contains a blank white space instead of the explanation in the California textbook.
Here’s more from the Jan. 12 story:
In a country that cannot come to a consensus on fundamental questions — how restricted capitalism should be, whether immigrants are a burden or a boon, to what extent the legacy of slavery continues to shape American life — textbook publishers are caught in the middle. On these questions and others, classroom materials are not only shaded by politics, but are also helping to shape a generation of future voters.
Conservatives have fought for schools to promote patriotism, highlight the influence of Christianity and celebrate the founding fathers. In a September speech, President Trump warned against a “radical left” that wants to “erase American history, crush religious liberty, indoctrinate our students with left-wing ideology.”
The left has pushed for students to encounter history more from the ground up than from the top down, with a focus on the experiences of marginalized groups such as enslaved people, women and Native Americans.
The books The Times analyzed were published in 2016 or later and have been widely adopted for eighth and 11th graders, though publishers declined to share sales figures. Each text has editions for Texas and California, among other states, customized to satisfy policymakers with different priorities.
The story prompted Reston’s Used Book Shop to reconsider how it categorizes certain American history textbooks.
“This is outrageous. We often buy used books published by Pearson – no longer. And I will be purging them from our ‘education section.'” The business wrote on Facebook
The Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s annual home tour is back for its 17th year tomorrow. Participants can take tours of six Reston homes that have undergone major redesigns.
Homes on the tour include a 1968 Dutch Colonial in South Reston and Reston Town Center’s Signature apartments. Tickets can be purchased online today and will need to be purchased at Reston Museum on the day of the tour. All proceeds benefit the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.
If historic house hopping isn’t your cup of tea, there’s still plenty to do in the area this weekend, including a Fall Carnival and Farm Harvest Day this weekend at Frying Pan Farm Park:
(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)
- Bring light to the darkness of cancer through today’s Northern Virginia Light The Night Walk from 5-9 p.m. The annual walk seeks to raise funds for blood cancer research. All registered walkers will get an illuminated lantern.
- It’s not too late to sign up for a trip to the Ronald Reagan building today from 5:45-10:30 p.m. to see the Capitol Steps perform live. Registration is $52 for Reston Association members and $62 for all others.
- Another tour is set for Saturday from 10 to 3 p.m. RA is offering a bus tour for newcomers to Reston. The tour begins and ends at The Lake House.
- Simon’s Junction will play at Lake Anne Plaza in front of Reston’s Used Book Shop on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Greater Reston Arts Center is hosting an art panel about art school on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday. Panelists include art educators from George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College and local county schools.
- Yes, Halloween is just around the corner. Author Sue Fliess will read from and sign her new book, Haunted Halloween, on Saturday at Scrawl Books at 11 a.m.
- Award-winning author Alfredo Del Arroyo will present his book Martes de Infamia: y Otros dias fatales, and poet and novelist Fernando Gudiel will present several of his works, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.
- Enjoy an afternoon of dance at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods on Sunday from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The event is open to ages 18 and up. Western country dance is up from 5:30-8 p.m.
- You can also go on a (free!) search for birds in Reston on Sunday from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Bright Pond. The walk is sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store.
- Later in the day on Sunday, you can take a family trip to Corn Maze in the Plains, a five-acre corn maze that includes entertaining outdoor activities. Reston Association is organizing transportation to the event on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets, which cover the event fee and transportation, are $18 for all participants.
- But if you’d rather listen to a lecture about the history of World War II on Sunday, you can do so at Reston Regional Library from 2-4 p.m. Professor Harry Butowsky will be presenting.
Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum
Last day to vote in Reston Association elections — Voting for the Board of Directors election closes at 5 p.m.. Ballots must be cast online or received in paper by the deadline. [Reston Association]
Get a little “Overboard” today — Enjoy the film “Overboard,” which follows the story of an heiress who hires a carpenter to build a closet on her yacht for her wardrobe. A free continent breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m. today. [Reston Community Center]
Taking a toll — A $23.4 million upgrade to the equipment of Dulles Toll Road’s toll system could charge variable tolls based on the time of day or the volume of traffic. [The Washington Post]
Co-founder of Reston’s Used Bookstore dies — Susan Schram, a long-time Restonian, died in late March. She opened the bookstore with her best friend in 1977. [Legacy]
Photo by Gail Freiday Crockett
Rollicking Roundup Playtime at Frying Pan Farm Park — Children and their caregivers can attend a free morning session of playtime at the park on 2709 West Ox Road tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow. This session’s theme is vehicles. For more information, call 703-437-9101. [Fairfax County Government]
Free Screening of McFarland, USA Today at 10 a.m. — CenterStage Cinema (2310 Colts Neck Road) presents a free screening of McFarland, USA, a movie based on the 1987 true story of novice runners from an economically challenged town in California’s Central Valley who attempt to build a cross-country team. A free continental breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m. [Reston Community Center]
Reston’s Used Book Shop Celebrates 40 Years — The book store held an anniversary open house on Sunday to celebrate 40 years of operation in Reston. The shop is currently located at 1623 Washington Plaza and first opened on Jan. 7, 1978. [Reston’s Used Book Shop via Facebook]
Her latest book, Sounds of the Savanna (Arbordale Publishing) came out last week. In it, Jennings (and illustrator Phyllis Saroff) explains how animals communicate — through sound. The mighty lion of the savanna roars, a lioness answers, the wildebeests respond and the day springs into action as a chain of sounds brings the African plains to life until the quiet night returns.
Jennings will hold a reading and book signing at the Reston Zoo Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jennings, a 38-year Reston resident who has worked for the Smithsonian Institution, has also written books on Mount St. Helen’s and the women’s movement. The Mount St. Helen’s book, Gopher to the Rescue: A Volcano Recovery Story was honored with the National Science Teachers’ Outstanding Science Trade Book award in 2013.
She says she finds kids are very interested in science and history if the concepts are at a level they can understand.
“If you present it in an engaging way, it leaves them with an understanding that science is great — it is part of everything in our lives,” she said. “I think translating it to young readers is my strong suit.”
Jennings said she is particularly interested in physics, which she majored in in college, and hopes to pen books about electricity and magnets.
Jennings will have additional book signing events at Reston’s Used Book Shop on Nov. 7 and at The Baltimore Zoo on Nov. 8. She will also participate in George Mason University’s Fall for the Book on Oct. 3.