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NEA Big Read Books

Update 3/2: Our free books have all been picked up, but you can still check out a copy from the library! See below for more details. Happy Reading!

NEA Big Read Book Distribution is HERE for Into the Beautiful North! Free book copies are available in English and Spanish. Books are first come, first served, and are available at the following locations.
In order to ensure as many people get them as possible, everyone will be limited to one book per person. 


  • Kenosha Public Library - Southwest Library (7979 38th Avenue)
  • Kenosha Public Library - Northside Library (1500 27th Avenue)
  • Kenosha Public Library - Simmons Library  (711 59th Place)
  • Kenosha Public Library - Uptown Library (2419 63rd Street)
  • Kenosha Civil War Museum (5400 1st Avenue)
  • Community Library - Salem Library (24615 89th Street, Salem)
  • Community Library - Twin Lakes Library (110 S Lake Avenue, Twin Lakes)
  • UW-Parkside Library (900 Wood Road)
  • St Marks Parish (7117 14th Avenue)
    Libros en español disponible aquí - Visite la oficina con la puerta anaranjada en la calle 14 . 
    Spanish books available here - Visit the Office with the Orange Door on 14th Street.

Additional copies are available for check out:



Old Weird America - Thursday Feb. 14th


It’s 1954—and a new late-night program premieres on Los Angeles KABC—called, Dig Me Later, Vampira.  A long- dark hallway appears, and out of a cloud of fog glides a dark, svelte woman who pauses before the camera in close-up and lets out a bloody scream. She then smiles contentedly and flings back her black mane of hair, as the program title emerges. Erstwhile model and housewife Maila Nurmi had re-invented herself as Vampira—the first Horror Show host.

And although her name is almost forgotten now, the image of the character of Vampira burst on the scene as a subversive cultural sensation amid the conformity of the 1950s and remains an underground icon of goth imagery and incendiary sexuality.

She was linked romantically to the likes of Orson Welles and Marlon Brando, —and was even accused of putting a curse on James Dean after his death in a car crash in 1955. Yet almost as soon as she became America’s “girl of the moment”- that moment was over, and Vampira was relegated to appearing in the kind of z-grade movies she skewered on her program—hitting rock bottom when she appeared in Ed Woods’ spectacularly bad masterpiece Plan 9 From Outer Space in 1959.

Please join us for a look into rise and fall of the phenomenon that was VAMPIRA.


KPL Open Normal Hours Thursday 01/31/2019

All Kenosha Public Library locations will be open Thursday (01/31/2019) normal hours except the Bookmobile. The Bookmobile will remain off the road until further notice. Items due Wednesday (01/30/2019) or Thursday (01/31/2019) have had their due dates extended to Friday (02/01/2019).

Todas las ubicaciones de la Biblioteca Pública de Kenosha estarán abiertas los jueves (31/01/2019) en horario normal, excepto el Bookmobile. El Bookmobile permanecerá fuera de la carretera hasta nuevo aviso. Los artículos que vencen el miércoles (30/01/2019) o el jueves (31/01/2019) tienen sus fechas de vencimiento extendidas hasta el viernes (01/02/2019).

All KPL Locations Closed 01/30/2019

The City of Kenosha has decided to close all KPL locations Wednesday (01/30/2019) due to extreme temperatures. If you need assistance finding or getting to a safe warm place please call 262-654-1234.

La ciudad de Kenosha ha decidido cerrar todas las ubicaciones de KPL el miércoles (30/01/2019) debido a las temperaturas extremas. Si necesita ayuda para encontrar o llegar a un lugar cálido y seguro, llame al 262-654-1234.

Snow Emergency Starting Midnight 01/27/2019

The City of Kenosha has declared a FULL SNOW EMERGENCY starting tonight (01/27/2019) at midnight going through midnight on Tuesday (01/29/2019). This means that NO PARKING on any city starting at midnight tonight and all day and evening Monday.

La ciudad de Kenosha ha declarado una EMERGENCIA DE NIEVE COMPLETA desde esta noche (27/01/2019) a la medianoche hasta la medianoche del martes (29/01/2019). Esto significa que NO HAY ESTACIONAMIENTO en ninguna ciudad a partir de la medianoche de esta noche y todo el día y la noche del lunes.

Into the Beautiful North: About the Book

Welcome to another NEA Big Read in Kenosha! We are proud to introduce you to a wonderful book: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. 

Into the Beautiful North is, at its heart, a story about journeys. It begins in the small town of Tres Camarones, Mexico where a group of teenagers realizes that all of the men in their town have left and traveled to Los Yuniates, in search of work and income. When some drug lord bandidos arrive and threaten the village, a screening of the Yul Brynner classic, The Magnificent Seven, inspires Nayeli and her friends to travel north as well - to cross the border into the United States, and bring back their own Siete Magníficos to help restore their home back to its former glory.  While their journey plays out, Nayeli, Tacho, Yolo, and Vampi encounter many vibrant, unforgettable characters and have all kinds of new experiences, while still longing to return back to their home and heart, Tres Camarones. 

To learn more about Into the Beautiful North, visit:

To learn more about Luis Alberto Urrea, visit:

Book Distribution (in English and Spanish) will begin in Mid-February.
In the meantime, start reading now with a library copy:

Or read another of Luis Alberto Urrea's books:

NEA Big Read events will run from March 1st to April 1st.
Visit our event calendar to learn more! (linked)

We look forward to reading and discussing Into the Beautiful North with you!

"Open Books, Open Minds"

Open Books, Open Minds is an ongoing, multi-year reading challenge in which independent readers in grades K-8 have the opportunity to read 100 books that explore diverse people, experiences, and genres of literature. As a bonus, they will earn prizes as they make progress! Registration for this program begins on Monday, January 21, 2019 either in person or online at

Once you register, you may wonder which books the library has that fit into each category. We've got you covered! Check out the links below for lots of fabulous book lists (and check back soon--we'll be adding more to each list!).

Bilingual Books:

Biographies About African American or Black People:

Biographies About Asian, Pacific Islander, or Middle Eastern People:

Biographies About Biracial People:

Biographies About Hispanic, Latinx, or Caribbean People:

Biographies About Native American People:

Fiction Books Featuring an African American or Black Main Character:

Fiction Books Featuring an Asian or Pacific Islander Main Character:

Fiction Books Featuring a Biracial Main Character:

Fiction Books Featuring a Hispanic, Latinx, or Caribbean Main Character:

Fiction Books Featuring Immigrants, Immigration, and Refugees:

Fiction Books Featuring a Middle Eastern Main Character:

Fiction Books Featuring a Native American Main Character:

Fiction Books Featuring People With Physical or Psychological Conditions:

Fiction Books Featuring Non-Traditional Families:

Fiction and Nonfiction Books About Homelessness:

Fiction and Nonfiction Books About Race, Racism, and/or Racial Identity:

Fiction and Nonfiction Books About Self-Acceptance:

Fiction and Nonfiction Featuring Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual People:

Fiction and Nonfiction Books Featuring Transgender or Non-Binary People:

Nonfiction Books About Different Religions:

Nonfiction Books About Immigration, Immigrants, and/or Refugees:

Nonfiction Books About Native American Nations:

Nonfiction Books About Other Countries and Their Cultures:

Nonfiction Books About Physical and/or Psychological Conditions:

Picture & Chapter Books - Action/Adventure:

Picture & Chapter Books - Fantasy:

Picture & Chapter Books - Graphic Novels:

Picture & Chapter Books - Historical Fiction:

Picture & Chapter Books - Mystery:

Picture & Chapter Books - Realistic Fiction:

Picture & Chapter Books - Scary:

Picture & Chapter Books - Science Fiction:


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