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News in Youth Services

Monday, November 13, 2017

Being Thankful

I've been reading the book A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen (a current Caudill nominee).  It's about the 1961 Berlin Wall.  You might be thinking, "Okay, but what has that got to do with being thankful?"  Just hear me out.  When World War II came to an end in 1945, the German territories were split between the Allies.  The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and France.The city of Berlin was split this way as well.  In 1958, tensions rose and people started to leave East Germany by the millions; many of them young skilled workers such as doctors, teachers and engineers. On August 12, the largest number of people defected to West Germany in a single day - 2,400.  As a result , that very night a wall began to be built to keep the people of East Germany from leaving. 

Here's where the story starts.  In the story, Gerta's family gets split apart because her father and
brother Dominick are caught on the west part of Berlin when the Russians order the wall built.
Life is not easy for Gerta, Fritz and their mother.  Their family is under constant surveillance by the Stasi, the East German police because their father was believed to be part of a worker uprising.  Gerta describes life in East Germany as "gray," with constant food rations, and the constant fear of saying or doing anything against the government.  If you see your family on the west side of the wall, you were told to ignore them or be beaten or shot. 

So this lead me to think about how much I am thankful for freedoms I enjoy every day.  While I know life is not perfect, it could be much worse.

So I'd like to share what I'm thankful for (and it might be a little cheesy but it's real).

I'm thankful for:
  • being able to work in a library surrounded by books (my dream as a child).
  •  the people I work with who also enjoy books.
  • the patrons who use our library and I've gotten to know over the years.
  • being able to plan programs for children.
  • getting the opportunity to buy books that I believe others will enjoy as much as I do.
  • getting to help people select new titles or find a new author they love to read.
  • the library being closed on Thanksgiving so that I can be with my family.
So even though the world is not perfect, think about what you are thankful for and focus on that for at least one day out of the year.

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