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Read Brave this month with the St. Paul Public Library 

St. Paul Public Library (SPPL) launched its annual citywide book club, Read Brave, inviting teens, their families and community members to read the same young adult book and have brave conversations about issues important to the city. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Identities,” and the book selection is “Man o’ War” by Cory McCarthy.

A recipient of a 2023 Stonewall Book Award Honor, “Man o’ War” follows the story of River McIntyre, an Irish Lebanese American trans teen on a journey of self-discovery amid the confines of a small Midwestern town. 

This deeply intimate and emotional young adult novel explores the layers and complexities of coming out and transitioning, grappling with dysphoria, internalized transphobia and racism, bias and rejection, and, ultimately, acceptance, self-love, true love and joy. Told over the span of several years, “Man o’ War” is as much an honest coming-of-age story as it is a love story that balances the heartache and pain that comes with learning to love all aspects of yourself and the joy that comes from being free to be who you truly are. 

Residents can get their own copy of “Man o’ War” to keep by stopping by any SPPL location during open hours while supplies last. Print copies, e-books and audiobooks are also available for check-out. A limited supply of book club kits are also available at all library locations. Participating book clubs can sign up for a chance to host Mayor Carter at their book club discussion of “Man o’ War”.

SPPL will also drop books around town at grocery stores, barber shops, parks and other community gathering places. One of these copies will include a “golden ticket” inside, which can be redeemed for a free e-reader.

Expanding on the books, SPPL will host free events that are open to the public March 18-24 throughout libraries in St. Paul. Events include “Read Brave, Talk Brave,” a panel discussion with Mayor Carter and author Cory McCarthy on March 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Arlington Hills Library; a traveling art exhibit on the theme of identities by InProgress; a community volunteer event; and a storytime with Mayor Carter. McCarthy will also visit select St. Paul Public School classrooms. 

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