Guest Blog: Rachel McInnes, BookPeople School Event Host and Allies Book Club Partner

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In January 2018, Austin Allies partnered with our local bookstore, BookPeople, to host a monthly Book Club for kids ages 8-12. The books we choose to read focus on a diverse variety of authors, narrators, and themes, but all are geared toward gaining a new understanding and knowledge of people and cultures that we may not have had before reading the story. Rachel has been our BookPeople liaison from the very beginning and we are thrilled to work with her each month.

“I have really enjoyed getting to know Erika and Vanessa through my experiences with Austin Allies. The kids have been amazing as well and I really have learned from them and their insights! Having the kids write community recommendation cards has been a great addition to all of the staff cards you see around the store. When I can tell a young reader that someone their age has read and recommends a book it might carry a bit more weight in the decision making. 

When I started working at the store on Saturdays I realized that I needed to widen my range in order to make more qualified recommendations. The Austin Allies Book Club has introduced me to books I might not have otherwise read. And expanding our reading catalogue is so important, not just for kids but for everyone and it’s for the same reason! I only have my own life experience to draw on or reference. When I read a book written by someone that has a different life experience I am seeing the world through their eyes. Those books really are gifts to the world because my life is so much richer for having read them.”

- Rachel McInnes has worked at BookPeople for 3 years as a School Event Host (a BookPeople representative who supports schools that are hosting authors and illustrators who are touring for new books) and mans the kids’ section in the store on Saturdays.

Mayor Adler joined our August 2018 Book Club to talk about how Austin welcomes refugees and how we keep our water supply available to so many people!

Mayor Adler joined our August 2018 Book Club to talk about how Austin welcomes refugees and how we keep our water supply available to so many people!

Teaching Empathy is such an important aspect of what Allies strives to provide for our volunteers, and our Book Club and Rachel offer us another avenue to experience empathy.

If you haven’t had a chance to join us for a Book Club meeting, we hope to see you on Saturday, March 16 at 12:30pm when we’ll be discussing I Am Malala (Young Reader’s Edition) by Malala Yousafzai.