Livermore Reads Together 2019 is a community reading program featuring Joshua Davis’s New York Times bestselling nonfiction book Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream. The community of Livermore is invited to read Spare Parts and join their neighbors by participating in events related to the book, such as a Student Robotics Fair, poetry reading by Latinx writer MK Chavez, art show and reception featuring Bay Area artist Daniel Camacho, Mexican folk music concert by Los Panaderos, and more. Book copies are available to check out from the Livermore Public Library.
About Spare Parts: In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, the teens attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar Vazquez, Cristian Arcega, Luis Aranda, or Lorenzo Santillan that they might amount to much, but two inspiring science teachers (Fredi Lajvardi and Allan Cameron) 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 the rest 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 military service in Afghanistan.
Joshua Davis's Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and the 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.
Unless otherwise noted, events are at Civic Center Library, located at 1188 South Livermore Avenue, and are free to the public.
- Saturday, January 26, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. -- Student Robotics Fair & LRT Kickoff
Local students will showcase their robotics projects. Special presentation on ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles) by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center.
- Saturday, February 2, 2:00 p.m. -- Author Tina Jones Williams and The Storytellers Explore the Great Migration
Celebrate Livermore Reads Together and Black History Month. The Great Migration was the relocation of more than six million African-Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from about 1916 to 1970. Author Tina Jones Williams and The Storytellers will enlighten audience members about the Great Migration through words and music.
- Saturday, February 9, 11:00 a.m. -- Free Movie Screening of Spare Parts
The 2015 film is PG-13 and will be shown at the Vine Cinema & Alehouse located at 1722 First Street in Livermore.
- Sunday, February 10, 2:00 p.m. -- Spare Parts Readers’ Theater
The Livermore Shakespeare Festival will perform their adapted excerpt from the LRT chosen book.
- Saturday, February 16, 2:00 p.m. -- Citizenship and Naturalization Info Session
Learn about naturalization eligibility, testing, and citizenship rights and responsibilities from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Wednesday, February 20, 7:00 p.m. -- Author Talk
Meet Joshua Davis author of Spare Parts for a discussion of his book, followed by a book signing.
- Thursday, February 21, 7:00 p.m. -- Poetry Reading by MK Chavez
Award-winning poet and Latinx writer MK Chavez will give a poetry reading.
- Saturday, February 23, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. -- Livermore Reads Art Reception
Celebrate Mexican art and culture with artist Daniel Camacho and the Hispanic Heritage Center.
- Sunday, February 24, 2:00 p.m. -- Los Panaderos Concert
Enjoy traditional Mexican folk music and dance featuring the Bay Area group, Los Panaderos.
- Tuesday, February 26, 6:30 p.m. -- Maker Program for Kids
Make a BrushBot at Springtown Branch Library, 998 Bluebell Drive in Livermore.
- Thursday, February 28, 6:30 p.m. -- Books & Brews at Eight Bridges Brewery
Join library staff to discuss Spare Parts and raise a glass to another eventful Livermore Reads Together at Eight Bridges Brewery located at 332 Earhart Way in Livermore.
In addition throughout the month of February, the Civic Center Library Art Gallery will feature a special exhibit by artist Daniel Camacho and the Las Positas College Art Club.
Livermore Reads Together 2019 is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Livermore Library and include programs for all ages. Visit the Friends' Crowdrise page to donate to specific library programs such as LRT. For more information about this and other library programs, call (925) 373-5505.
Livermore Reads Together (LRT) is the Livermore Public Library's annual community-wide reading program that occurs each February. The City of Livermore is encouraged to read the same book and participate in the free month-long series of LRT events for adults, children, and teens. LRT aims to boost community engagement with literature through reading and discussion.