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York County Reads
Take the Challenge

Friendship, Unity, & Coming Together: Join 'York County Reads!'

Our Fourth Annual York County Reads will take place February and March 2023! This exciting program connects readers throughout York County as they read the same books at the same time. Our goal is to promote literacy and community engagement for this year's theme, "Friendship, Unity, and Coming Together." All ages can read one or all of our featured books to get inspired and encourage others around you to sign up and read together. Tag us on social media with #yorkcountyreads2023, and join our community to enjoy other special York County Reads events!

Taking the challenge is simple! Beginning February 1, go to Beanstack to record your participation and earn digital badges for completing each activity. You can also download the Beanstack Tracker App, available for both Android and Apple devices. When setting up the app, make sure to select York County Library (SC). Readers who complete the challenge will earn a prize: their choice of a special 2023 York County Reads wristband keychain or rainbow pencil!

Featured Books

Child is the story of Judy Kurtz Goldman's relationship with Mattie Culp, the Black woman who worked for her family as a live-in maid and helped raise her ― the unconscionable scaffolding on which the relationship was built and the deep love. It is also the story of Mattie's child, who was left behind to be raised by someone else.


Judy, now 80, cross-examines what it was to be a privileged white child in the Jim Crow South, how a bond can evolve in and out of step with a changing world, and whether we can ever tell the whole truth, even to ourselves. It is an incandescent book of small moments, heart-warming, heartbreaking, and, ultimately, inspiring.

Crossing the Line

Kareem thought he would be stuck in a community devastated by poverty and violence. Riding bikes through Philly’s Fairmount Park, Kareem’s brothers discover a barn full of horses. Noticing their fascination, Lezlie Hiner, founder of The Work to Ride stables, offers them an after-school job in exchange for riding lessons. What starts as an accidental discovery turns into a love for horseback riding that leads to a passion for polo. Pursuing the sport, Kareem earns his place among the typically exclusive players in college, becoming part of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team ― all while struggling to keep his family together.

All Salma wants is to make her mama smile again. Between English classes, job interviews, and missing Papa back in Syria, Mama always seems busy or sad. A homemade Syrian meal might cheer her up, but Salma doesn’t know the recipe, or what to call the vegetables in English, or where to find the right spices!


Luckily, the staff and other newcomers in her Welcome Home are happy to lend a hand — and a sprinkle of sumac. With creativity, determination, and charm, Salma brings her new friends together to show Mama that even though things aren’t perfect, there is cause for hope and celebration.

Salma the Syrian Chef
Same Same But Different

Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different! Through an inviting point-of-view and colorful, vivid illustrations, this story shows how two boys living oceans apart can be the best of friends.

Wes has the best style in sixth grade. That — and hanging out with his crew and playing video games — is what he wants to be thinking about, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to. But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes.


The grownups are supposed to have the answers, but all they're doing is arguing. Even Wes's friends are fighting. And some may be moving. Wes isn't about to give up the only home he's ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles and knows there has to be a missing piece. But can he find it before it's too late?

Take Back the Block
With the Fire on High

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make tough decisions. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have the time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t be dreaming of working in a real kitchen. But even with the rules she has for her life — and the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Featured Books
Author Visits

Author Visits

March 11, 2023, 3–4 p.m., Main Library (Rock Hill)

Enjoy a visit with Judy Kurtz Goldman, award-winning author of Child: A Memoir. In Child, Judy, now 80, finally tells the story she didn’t think she had the right to tell — the story of her relationship with Mattie Culp, the black woman who worked for her family as a live-in maid and helped raise her — and the story of Mattie’s daughter, left behind to be raised by someone else. This special event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the York County Library. Copies of Judy's books will be available for purchase and signing. Registration is strongly encouraged. Register online or call (803) 981-5825, starting February 25. Limit 60.

Judy Goldman

Read more about Judy at her website,

Crystal D Giles

March 29, 2023, 5:30–6:30 p.m., Main Library (Rock Hill)

Chrystal D. Giles, author of Take Back the Block, will introduce her new book, Not An Easy Win. Perfect for a group even if they haven’t read any of Chrystal’s work, this chat starts with a presentation where Chrystal talks about her writing journey, what components make a great story (with tie-ins to Take Back the Block and Not an Easy Win), and how to write about what inspires you. There will be time for a short Q&A session. Best for grades 3–8. 45 mins.

Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 981-5888, starting March 15. Limit 60.

You can visit Chrystal online at

More Special Events

Visit our Events Calendar for these special York County Reads events and more at each Library! We'll also have fun "Take-and-Make" activities to pick up and enjoy throughout the program.

  • YC Reads Family Storytimes:

    • February 10, 2023, 4–4:45 p.m., York Library. Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 684-3751, starting January 31. Limit 20.
      Join us for a family-friendly storytime celebrating York County Reads! This special kindness-themed story time will feature a selection of YC Reads titles. Stories and songs will be geared toward ages 3–10, but all are welcome.

    • February 25, 2023, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Lake Wylie Library. Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 831-7774, starting February 1. Limit 20. Enjoy a family storytime with local children's authors Markeeter Knox and Trinity Ellison, who will read their recently published picture book, I Scream, You Scream: We All Learn About Ice Cream. This book helps children understand that we are all the same in spite of our visual differences. Make a craft after the reading and enjoy a cup of ice cream at the end.

  • Brazilian Cooking: February 16, 2023, 5–6:30 p.m., Clover Library. Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 222-3474, starting February 2. Limit 10.
    Join us as we make traditional Brazilian cheese pastries in honor of the Teen YC Reads book With the Fire on High, by Elizabeth Acevedo.


  • Indian Cooking Demonstrations:

    • February 20, 2023, 5–7 p.m., Clover Library. Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 222-3474, starting February 6. Limit 15.

    • March 7, 2023, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Main Library (Rock Hill). Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 981-5825, starting February 21. Limit 25.

    • March 29, 2023, 5:30–6:30 p.m., Fort Mill Library. Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 547-4114, starting March 15. Limit 20.
      Learn how traditional Indian cuisine can be a part of a balanced and nutritious diet. Santhoshi, the chef, has a passion for cooking and will explore herbs and spices through the lens of Indian food and how they benefit your health. She will also share knowledge of the culture. Samples will be provided.

  • YC Reads Adult Book Club: March 27, 2023, 5–6 p.m., Clover Library. Registration is required. Register online or call (803) 222-3474, starting March 13. Limit 12.
    Join fellow book lovers to discuss the York County Reads pick. Ages 18 and up are welcome.

More Special Events
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