Link to Link to info on HFCL Link to info on BBL Link to info on EBL Link to library catalog eMedia collection Image Map


Read Woke

What is the Read Woke Challenge?

The Dearborn Public Library will host a Read Woke Challenge from January 11-February 20, 2021. The Read Woke Challenge was originally created by Cicely Lewis, a school librarian in Georgia. It encourages community members to read “woke” books and engage in thoughtful dialogue surrounding the themes and topics addressed in the books. What are woke books? They are titles that focus on protagonists from underrepresented groups and/or challenge stereotypes or social norms.

How to Participate and Prizes

To complete the Read Woke Challenge, read two woke books. If you’re not sure where to start, try some of the Read Woke lists below that have been created by our librarians. Another good place to start is the Diverse Book Finder: Children and teens who complete the Challenge will earn a free book. (Prize books can be picked up via Curbside Pickup at Henry Ford Centennial and Esper Branch Library.) Adults will earn a Read Woke notebook. (Prize notebooks can be picked up via Curbside Pickup at all Dearborn Public Library locations.) Everyone who completes the Read Woke Challenge will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to a local business.


The Dearborn Public Library uses Beanstack, a reading tracker, to manage reading programs online, like the Read Woke Challenge or 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. Users can create an account in Beanstack or sign in if they have participated in past reading programs. Families have the option to create one account for all participants or individual accounts. Participants can also use the Beanstack app to sign up for the Read Woke Challenge. All prizewinner information is stored in Beanstack.









10:30 a.m. Read Woke Storytime

2:00 p.m. World Music with Jay Sand

2:00 p.m. Teen Book Club – Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

7:00 p.m. Conversation with Leila Abdelrazaq

2:00 p.m. Tween and Teen Book Discussion of Harbor Me

7:00 p.m. Classics Revisited (Read Woke edition) 

2:00 p.m. A Conversation with Malaka Gharib and Cecily Lewis

Book Lists

All of the below lists have titles for children, teens, and adults.

Arab Voices

Asian Voices

Black Voices

Diverse Abilities Voices

Female Voices

Immigrant Voices

Latino Voices

LGBTQ Voices

Indigenous Voices

Poverty & Homeless Voices

Social Justice Reads



Named the 2020 National Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal and Scholastic, a 2019 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and the 2019 National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Penguin Random House (PRH), Cicely Lewis is a school librarian with a passion for creating lovers of reading.

In 2017, she started the Read Woke challenge in response to the shootings of young unarmed black boys, the repeal of DACA, and the lack of diversity in young adult literature. Her students were required to read books that challenge the social norm and give voice to the voiceless. Using this platform, she had inspired the nation to Read Woke with educators across the world joining in and sharing the movement with their students.
A native of Mississippi, she currently resides in Georgia with her Anime loving husband, Michael, and two rambunctious children, Tristan and Trinity. When she is not reading, you can find Cicely writing for her bi-monthly column in the School Library Journal where she shares her book recommendations. Her writing was recently featured in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Walter Dean Myers 145th Street Short Stories.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cicelythegreat or check out her blog CicelytheGreat.

This project is funded in part by Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Comments (0)