News Details

News Details

Book Chosen for Livermore Reads Together 2019


The Livermore Public Library is pleased to announce that the New York Times bestseller Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream will be the featured book for the 13th Livermore Reads Together, the library’s annual community reading program.

The community was asked to help choose the book for next year’s Livermore Reads Together by voting online for one of four titles.  The nonfiction Spare Parts received the highest votes and won the day. Throughout the month of February 2019, the library will host a series of events for youth and adults that explore the themes in Spare Parts.  Stay tuned for exciting events currently being planned.  

About the book:  In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn't pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan.

Joshua Davis's Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.  

Spare Parts is a critically-acclaimed book and a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.  It was adapted into a major motion picture in 2015, starring George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carlos PenaVega, and Marisa Tomei.
All Livermore Reads Together events are free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Livermore Public Library.