It’s the 1950’s. Desiree and Stella Vignes decide to run away from their small, hometown of Mallard, La., a town where all residents are light-skinned African Americans. As teenagers, Desiree and Stella grew tired of the constant obsession with staying in the community and having their futures predetermined; they decided to run away from the town, leaving everything behind.
This is a synopsis of Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half,” one of the featured novels at LHS this year. The featured section of the library contains a multitude of diverse compositions for students to choose from.
“[Diverse compositions] are hot items in teen literature right now,” said librarian, Mary Peters. “Last school year we were looking for books that could be introduced into the English Curriculum, and so we were looking at more diverse titles so that we did spread the diversity through the students. And, that prompted me to make sure I have a good collection also in the library so that students were able to choose those books here.”
Since the beginning of the school year, the section has acquired a lot of recognition.
“The display itself gets picked over quite a bit during the day,” said Peters. “We fill it up quite often. I do not know if it is because it is displayed or because of what is happening in the world, but I do think kids are more aware of it. And seeing the section labeled ‘Diverse Literature’ they know that is what they are going to find in that area.”
Here at LHS, students have become more involved in supporting diverse lifestyles and people that are different from them. For example, on Sept. 25, 2020, a large group of students wore black to school due to the outcome of the case of Breanna Taylor’s murder. Students have also decided to start a club to raise awareness for African American people and police brutality. It is crucial for the school to also be a learning environment and provide information regarding different cultures and ways of life. This is important because students can then continue to grow and immerse themselves in different cultures. This can be done by reading stories that provide different perspectives; this type of learning is supported by the diverse compositions contained in the library.
“I think that it is important in our world today that students read the aspects of writers from different places and backgrounds so that they can understand where they are coming from,” said Peters. “It is something that we need to keep growing so there is awareness, and I think this is one way students can get that. Maybe if they don’t understand it because most writers are writing from their perspective even though it is fiction. But they are writing from a perspective that could be true.”
Make your way to the LHS library to explore titles similar to “The Vanishing Half” and broaden your point of view on predominant topics in today’s ever-changing society.