What if everyone in Wauwatosa read the same book at the same time? That’s the idea behind Tosa’s All-City Read, a common reading program designed to bring neighbors together and build a sense of camaraderie and community while promoting literacy at all ages. We hope you’ll join in the fun!
“The city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.” – Mary McGrory
Call Me American
Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.
Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. Eventually, though, Abdi was forced to flee to Kenya.
In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine and a recent U.S. citizen, Abdi Nor Iftin has written a dramatic, deeply stirring memoir that’s truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life. (From the Penguin Random House website.)
Abdi Nor Iftin
Abdi is a radio journalist, public speaker, translator, student, and the author of Call Me American, the true story of his heroic survival in war-ravaged Mogadishu and his incredible journey to a new life in America.
How to Participate
Copies of our Tosa’s All-City Read selection are available at the Tosa Library and for sale at Little Read Book and other bookstores. Once you’ve read the book, there are lots of ways to participate:
1. Join or start a book discussion in your neighborhood association.
2. Attend one of our public book discussions listed on our Events Page.
3. Take part in our fun events and activities. Come by yourself or bring your friends and neighbors!