Capital Area Reads

DTDL is partnering with the Capital Area District Libraries for the 2018 Capital Area Reads. Join us throughout March and April for events and discussions to enhance your reading of the 2018 selection, Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.

2018 Selected Book

26025588.jpgJende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Meet the Author

Imbolo Mbue is a native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for more than a decade, she lives in New York City. Meet the author when she visits Lansing next spring. Details below:

Lansing Center

Saturday, April 28 • 4 p.m.

Registration begins Feb. 26

Free parking is available in the Lansing Center lot or parking garage by mentioning the words “Library Author Event.”


Related to the themes explored in Behold the Dreamers, these events – encompassing family history, immigration, culture, language and citizenship – are recommended for adults and older teens.

Capital Area Reads Booklet

Delta Township District Library Events

Capital Area District Libraries Events

DTDL Event & Resource Highlights




Books & Brews at EagleMonk Pub & Brewery
Tuesday, April 3, 7 p.m.
Join library staff to discuss the 2018 Capital Area Reads pick Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue at the EagleMonk Pub & Brewery, 4906 W Mt Hope Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917 (

Tween Book Club
Wednesday, April 11, 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Ages 9-12.  Join us to discuss a new book each month, with activities and snacks.  April’s book is Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, a #1 New York Times bestseller, Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the National Book Award, inspired by the author’s childhood experience as a refugee from Vietnam.  Please register for this program at the library’s Youth Desk or call 517-321-4014 x3.

DTDL Book Club
Wednesday, April 18, 6 p.m.
Join library staff to discuss the 2018 Capital Area Reads pick Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.




Immigration: How the system works
Tuesday, April 3, 12:30 p.m.
The U.S. Immigration System is more complex than most people realize. Find out about the different immigration statuses and how the system really works from Attorney Ying Beher. Part of April’s Lunchtime Lectures Series. Presented in partnership with the Delta Township Senior Council.

Hmong Americans in Michigan
Tuesday, April 10, 6 p.m.
Michigan has the fourth largest population of Hmong Americans in the United States. Join author and oral historian Martha Aladjem Bloomfield to learn about the history of the Hmong people, their flight to America following the Vietnam War and how they have made their new homes in Michigan. Presented in partnership with the Delta Township Historical Society.

Personal Stories of Immigration
Tuesday, April 17, 12:30 p.m.
Listen to personal and family stories of immigration from a panel of area immigrants. Hear why they chose to come to America and what life has been like since their arrival. Moderated by author and oral historian, Martha Bloomfield. Part of April’s Lunchtime Lectures Series. Presented in partnership with the Delta Township Senior Council.




All Around the African World
Tuesday, April 10, 12:30 p.m.
Travel across Africa and the world to learn about the people and cultures of Africa and the impact they have made across the globe. Presented by Dr. Willie D. Davis, Jr. (Babakubwa Kweku), owner of All Around the African World Museum. Part of April’s Lunchtime Lectures Series. Presented in partnership with the Delta Township Senior Council.

Travel Club: Kenya
Monday, April 23, 1:30 p.m.
Travel to the east side of Africa with Steve and Renee Johnson as they share pictures and stories from their trip to Kenya.




Housing Bubbles & the Collapse of Lehman Brothers
Tuesday, April 24, 12:30 p.m.
In 2008 the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history was filed by the financial services firm Lehman Brothers, and the impact was felt across the globe. Join MSU Associate Professor of Economics Antonio Doblas Madrid to learn about the conditions that caused the housing bubble to burst and the impact it had on financial firms like Lehman Brothers.