The City of Jackson and Jackson District Library are joining forces for the annual Mayor’s Book of the Year. For his 2020 book, Mayor Derek Dobies has selected “What the Eyes Don’t See” by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. With libraries closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this book is being made available to read through the district library’s website so residents can participate from the safety of their homes.
“What the Eyes Don’t See” is the author’s account of her discovery that children in Flint, Michigan were being poisoned by lead in city’s drinking water. Not only is the book now a community reading event for Jackson, but it is also part of the Great Michigan Read, a statewide program that includes online reading kits and online discussions with the author.
The Jackson District Library, along with Michigan Humanities, have provided a large number of copies for community members to download virtually from the JDL’s website, and check out once they re-open. Library Director Sara Tackett says “What the Eyes Don’t See” is a powerful book. “Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s willingness to fight for children and tirelessly advocate for change is powerfully evident and it is a topic that communities throughout Michigan will be addressing for years to come,” Tackett said.
Mayor Dobies says he’s encouraged to see the City and library work together during this troubling time. “I hope residents can join us in reading this book and understanding how truly important it is that we all put a high value on public health, and realize the power that a handful of passionate advocates can have in fixing broken systems, changing laws, and ultimately save lives. This is a critical message to hear right now in light of our collective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Dobies said.
This is the third year Mayor Derek Dobies has announced a Book of the Year. “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond was selected in 2019, and “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander was named the first Book of the Year in 2018.