Big Read brings literature to Pomona

By Diva Rescia

The Pomona Big Read, taking place from Oct. 13 through Dec. 1 at
the Cal Poly Downtown Center, is focused on encouraging the
community to get involved with reading.

The Big Read involves over 117 communities across the nation.
Some of the events that are taking place include read-a-thons, film
screenings, book discussions, contests, key-note addresses,
performing arts presentations as well as library and museum
exhibits. “I’m excited about what is happening in Pomona,” said
Jonnie Owens, community relations program director for the College
of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences. “Monday, October 1, the
city of Pomona issued a proclamation proclaiming the months of
October and November as ‘2007 Pomona Big Read.”

Owens went on to say that the Big Read will include having this
year’s book choice, “Bless Me, Ultima.” Tenth grade English classes
read the book. Efforts are being organized through various events,
including book clubs, to motivate people to read this book.

Gustavo Arellano, the guest speaker at Big Read, is well-known
throughout Southern California for his wide collaboration and
contributions as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has
appeared on “Today,” “Nightline,” National Public Radio’s “On the
Media,” “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” and “The Colbert

“I have read Gustavo’s column sporadically for some time and am
thrilled that he was able to arrange his schedule to help us
kick-off the Pomona Big Read,” said Owens. “He uses humor to expose
stereotypes, xenophobia, and racism. I was very happy to hear that
our selected text for the Pomona Big Read, ‘Bless Me, Ultima’ had
been very important to Mr. Arellano as one of the formative books
in his life.”

Mr. Arellano is the author of the new book, “Ask a Mexican!” His
book focuses on the real life situations that Latinos encounter
every day, and certain stereotypes that they are associated

While discussing his humorous book, Arellano also talked about
“Bless, Me Ultima,” and the impact it had on his life and

Most Latinos today know about Arellano, and find his books
humorous, fun to read and enjoyable.

Arellano’s column also deals with cultural issues in a humorous
way. “I love reading Arellano’s column,” said Jose Manuel, an
attendee during Arellano’s visit to the Downtown Center. “It makes
my day so much happier.”

Reach Diva Rescia at

Big Read brings literature to Pomona

Tiffane Stuckenschneider/Poly Post

Big Read brings literature to Pomona

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