There There Selected for Riverside Reads 2024

Published: 2/29/2024



Feb. 29, 2024



Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer


[email protected]



There There Selected for Riverside Reads 2024

Annual event starts March 19

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – There There, which follows 12 intertwined characters from Native communities all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, has been selected as the featured book for Riverside Reads 2024. It is the literary debut of Native American author Tommy Orange, an Oakland native and enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

Together, the chorus of voices in the book tell of the plight of the urban Native American grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, community and sacrifice, and heroism.  Free copies of There There are available at all Riverside Public Library locations while supplies last.

The Library will host a kickoff event featuring keynote speaker Dr. Clifford Trafzer, as well as an Inlandia literary event with guest author Cassandra Lopez, three book discussions, and a teen open mic night. The events are intended to celebrate the vibrancy of indigenous cultures through history, artwork, and literature.

The kickoff event will be held at the Main Library, 3900 Mission Inn Ave, on Tuesday, Mar. 19, from 6-8:00 pm. Featured will be keynote speaker Dr. Trafzer; Distinguished Professor of History and Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs (Wyandot ancestry), the Sherman Indian School documentary These Are Not “Stories,” and expert panelists: Brenda Focht, Senior Curator for the Museum of Riverside, Lorene Sisquoc, member of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, Sherman Indian Museum Curator and Cultural Traditions Leader, Dr. Wallace Cleaves, member of the Gabrielino Tongva Tribe and Director for the California Center for Native Nations, and Robert Levi Jr., CSUSB Elder/Culture Bearer in-Residence, mentor to American Indian Students, and a citizen of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

Book discussions will be held at various library locations:

  • Sunday, Apr. 7, 4 pm., Arlington Library, 9556 Magnolia Ave.
  • Sunday, Apr. 14, 4 pm., SSgt. Salvador J. Lara Casa Blanca Library, 2985 Madison St.
  • Sunday, Apr. 21, 3:30 pm, Main Library, 3900 Mission Inn Ave.

Riverside Reads 2024 is funded by the generous donation of the Riverside Public Library Foundation to the City of Riverside.

The Riverside Public Library is grateful to stand on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Cahuilla, Gabrielino-Tongva, Luiseño, and Serrano peoples. The Cahuilla, Gabrielino-Tongva, Luiseño, and Serrano continue to live and thrive in Southern California. We at the Library would like to respectfully acknowledge and recognize our responsibility to the original and current caretakers of this land, water, and air: the Cahuilla [ka-weeahh], Tongva [tong-va], Luiseño [loo-say-ngo], and Serrano [se-ran-oh] peoples and all their ancestors and descendants, past, present, and future. Today this meeting place is home to many Indigenous peoples from all over the world, including library staff, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on these homelands

 For more information visit one of the Riverside Public Library locations or visit Riverside Reads | Riverside Public Library (riversideca.gov)