I’m Your Neighbor Logo

IYN design revised
Look what arrived!  Mary E. Robbins and Nabil Sibouih of moth written made this beautiful image for I’m Your Neighbor, Portland and I’m Your Neighbor Books.  The phrase “I’m Your Neighbor” was collected in different languages by author/illustrator and I’m Your Neighbor, Portland advisor Anne Sibley O’Brien from Portland Public Schools’ Multilingual and Multicultural Center staff and from friends of Mary and Nabil.

moth written is a “Moroccan-American marriage in Maine.”  In Morocco, a moth is a good omen.  Mary and Nabil honor their family there by encouraging positive dialogue about the Arabic speaking world through the creation of t-shirts, bags, and pins in Arabic.

Attend the Launch

IYNP Featured Books

I’m Your Neighbor, Portland and the Portland Public Library invite you to the Launch Event of a year-long community-wide read of books set in Maine’s “new arrival” communities.

Date: Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Time: 3:00-6:00 PM
Location: Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library
5 Monument Square, Portland, Maine
Info: Curious City, 207-420-1126, kirsten@curiouscity.net

The Featured Books by Maine authors and illustrators tell the stories of people that have come to Portland and to Maine from all over the world in the last several decades and in doing so transformed the city into a vibrantly multiracial and multicultural community.

The May 25th event will introduce the books (for both families and adult readers) with readings, music, and refreshments from local independent groceries.

Attendees will have an opportunity to say “I’m Your Neighbor” in any language they know, share the story of their name with their neighbors, and envision how these books can be used in the community.

The Portland Public Library’s I’m Your Neighbor, Portland book collection will open for circulation the day of the event. Books will be for sale by the USM Bookstore and many of the authors will be available for signing.

The project is generously funded by the Maine Humanities Council and hosted by the Portland Public Library. A special thanks to the NAACP’s King Fellows for introducing the books.

“Listening to each other’s stories is the best way to initiate the building of strong communities. Everyone in Portland shares a story of both living together in this city and remembering where we came from. I look forward to those stories coming out when we read ‘I’m Your Neighbor, Portland’ books together.”
-Pious Ali, founder of Maine Interfaith Youth Alliance

Please share this event with your friends and colleagues!

DOWNLOAD a Flyer/Poster to Share
SHARE the event with friends on Facebook.

Support “I’m Your Neighbor”

IYNP Featured BooksStories build understanding.
Understanding weaves together neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods make our city.

Support the sharing of stories of Maine’s “new arrivals” and the cultural fabric of the City of Portland.

Contribute to the I’m Your Neighbor, Portland city-wide read project.  Together the city will read eight books set in Maine’s “new arrival” communities and discuss the commonalities between neighbors.

A donation of $112 will put one set (8 titles) of the Featured Books into the community to be given away at I’m Your Neighbor, Portland events and on stops throughout the year on The Portland Public Library Bookmobile.

Any amount, though, is welcome and can be given here.

Are you a business or can give more?  Explore the sponsorship benefits here.

(All donations flow through our fiscal sponsor, The Portland Public Library.)

Bookmobile Visits Neighborhoods

Photographer: Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Photographer: Shawn Patrick Ouellette

I’m Your Neighbor, Portland is delighted by the arrival of The Portland Public Library’s Bookmobile!  Over the next year, we will be providing programming for the bookmobile using the Featured Books and hopefully giving these books away as part of the programming.

To help distribute free I’m Your Neighbor, Portland books to Portland readers, please consider Sponsoring Free Book Distribution.

Hear what The Portland Public Library has to say about the Bookmobile and neighborhoods:

“This is a critical development in the life of the Library and how we create a presence in each City neighborhood.  It is vitally important that we go to people – where they live, work and recreate – in order to accomplish our goal of creating a City of Readers!…

The bookmobile will target families, particularly those with young children, in neighborhoods that are not currently served by a branch of the Portland Public Library system, and will enable the Library to be a presence in all city neighborhoods.”

Good Braider Honored

9780761462675_p0_v1_s260x420The American Library Association named the I’m Your Neighbor, Portland featured book, The Good Braider (Amazon Children’s Books) a A YALSA Best Ficton for Young Adults Book, 2013.  Congratulations to author Terry Farish!

The city of Portland looks forward to engaging in a conversation about The Good Braider on July 11, 2013 at the Portland Public Library.  More info here.

Path of Stars Honored

Illustration from A PATH OF STARS

The I’m Your Neighbor, Portland featured book, A Path of Stars by Anne Sibley O’Brien (Charlesbridge Publishers) has been named a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013. The award is a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC).

The picture book set in Portland’s Cambodian American community was also named an Honor Picture Book of the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature 2013. Winners of the 2013 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature, which promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are awarded based on literary and artistic merit, have been selected by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.

The community is welcome at an event celebrating A Path of Stars and the Maine Cambodian community on August 10, 2013 at the Portland Public Library.  More info here.

Martin Luther King’s “Broader Concerns”

Maine Congressman Jon Hinck announced I’m Your Neighbor, Portland to the Portland community at the Annual 32nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration with these words:

2013_MLK_poster_obama_5-1“Portland will embark on a literary celebration of its unique diversity in 2013.  The Portland Public Library,  Portland children’s literature company, Curious City, and the NAACP will host a city-wide read of books set in Maine’s new arrival community.

In events from April to December, residents will be able to read, discuss, and celebrate the culture and stories of Maine’s refugees and new immigrants.  The I’m Your Neighbor, Portland city-wide read will include fiction, biography, and memoir for both children and adults.

You can see a list of those books in your program and many of those books are for sale today out in the lobby.  The Maine Humanities Council has provided the seed money for this groundbreaking literary and cultural event.  If you, your company, or your organization would like to participate in any way, please feel free to talk with me after the program or to visit the website listed in your program.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.’

I hope as readers and citizens you will participate in I’m Your Neighbor, Portland  and experience the ‘broader concerns’ of this magnificent city.”