#IntlYALitMonth: The Blue Book of Nebo

The Blue Book of Nebo, by Manon Steffan Ros

Originally published in Welsh in 2021 by Deep Vellum Publishing, Manon Steffan Ros is also remarkably to credit for the translation of her book to English. This is hardly surprising as a deep love of the Welsh language permeates the succinct prose. With spare and intense exposition of a post-apocalyptic world, the literary talents of The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Red Pony by John Steinbeck were immediately brought to mind. Focusing on the stark realities of a young man’s journey into adulthood the author tempers this with the experiences of struggling with the natural world that is as essential to survival as it is likely to kill you.

The lyrical nature of the work ventured closer to Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, while also equally thought-provoking with subtle mysteries that are compelling. The Blue Book of Nebo is a much quicker and shorter novel than Oryx and Crake, however, perfect to be read over a weekend. 

Reading the diary entries of the main characters Rowenna and Dylan brings you immediately and intimately into their shattered world, a world that has been bombed and irradiated. Peering into the lonely hearts of these characters you learn what keeps someone going against all odds, as Rowenna says, “And the things we believe in, the things we have faith in – we have all made the choice to believe.”

Quietly hopeful and beautifully written, this novel gives the reader much to consider and imagine long after you finish the 150 pages. 

The Blue Book of Nebo

Written by: Manon Steffan Ros

Translated from Welsh by: Manon Steffan Ros

ISBN: 978-1646051007

Published by: Deep Vellum Publishing

Prize-winner in three categories of the 2019 Wales Book of the Year Award

Reviews: Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly

Tara Bannon Williamson began her library career at the age of 14 at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. Graduating from Purdue University, Tara followed her heart to Colorado in 2001, and soon started working at the Denver Public Library as a Processing Clerk. After enrolling at the University of Denver in 2005, Tara graduated in 2007 and accepted her first librarian position. Tara enthusiastically committed to every opportunity, including writing for the database NoveList, chairing the Colorado Association of Libraries’ Readers Advisory Interest Group and becoming an Adjunct at the University of Denver. Since she started teaching Adult Materials and Services in 2010, Tara has been a Field Mentor more than a dozen times. Tara currently works at the Park Hill Branch Library, where she has been the Branch Supervisor since 2011. Awarded the Nell I. Scott Employee of the Year Award in 2013, Tara continues to innovate and inspire. Tara’s current pursuits include intentional community building through deliberative dialogue and civic engagement and locating Denver’s best nachos.

This month’s curator for #IntlYALitMonth is Julia E. Torres. JULIA E. TORRES is a nationally recognized veteran language arts teacher, librarian, and teen programs administrator in Denver, Colorado. Julia facilitates teacher development workshops rooted in the areas of anti-racist education, equity and access in literacy and librarianship, and education as a practice of liberation. Julia’s work has been featured on NPR, AlJazeera’s The Stream, PBS Education, KQED’s MindShift, Rethinking Schools, Learning for Justice Magazine, School Library Journal, American Libraries Magazine, and many more. She is a Book Love Foundation board member, Educolor Working Group member, a Book Ambassador for The Educator Collaborative, and a co-founder of #DisruptTexts. Her co-authored title, Liven Up Your Library: Design Engaging and Inclusive Programs for Teens and Tweens, is just the first of many forthcoming publications for librarians and educators. Connect with Julia at juliaetorres.com or on social media @juliaerin80

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