Burbank Reads 2021

Braiding Sweetgrass book cover

Burbank Reads is a program inspired by the idea that the shared act of reading can bring a community together. Everyone is encouraged to read the same book and participate in discussion and learning surrounding the subject matter.

Our selections for 2021 were chosen to encourage a book-based community conversation about sustainability. Find our Burbank Reads brochure here.


Our Selected Books

The main title for 2021 is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book is composed of five sections, starting with "Planting Sweetgrass" and progressing through "Tending," "Braiding," "Picking," and "Burning Sweetgrass." It is a remarkable collection of essays seeking to reconcile science with traditional cultural knowledge. Woven together, the individual threads of Braiding Sweetgrass form a rich and lyrical meditation on our place in the natural world.

Kimmerer received the 2014 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for her book and has also received best-seller awards amongst the New York Times Bestseller, the Washington Post Bestseller, and the Los Angeles Times Bestseller lists. It was named a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub and a Book Riot “Favorite Summer Read of 2020.


To encourage participation at all age levels, our librarians also selected books for teens and children to read and discuss.

Families can read We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, a Caldecott winning picture book which offers a rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption and was inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America.

The book selection for teens is How To Change Everything by Naomi Klein, an empowering, engaging young readers guide to understanding and battling climate change from the expert and bestselling author of This Changes Everything and On Fire.


Read More - Learn More

As lists of additional recommended reads are created, you will find them here.


Scheduled Programs

For information regarding program registration, times, and locations please refer to the event calendar on our website.

  • October 5: Teen Craft - Seed Bombs
  • October 5: Panel Discussion - Building Sustainability with LEED
  • October 6: Preschool Explorers
  • October 7: Creative Kids
  • October 7: Discussion of the concepts in Braiding Sweetgrass, led by Jon Christensen, veteran journalist & historian, in coversation with members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians — Watch on YouTube 
  • October 9: Burbank Water & Power facility tour for kids in grades K-5
  • October 12: Un-BEE-lievable Science for kids in grads K-5
  • October 16: Braiding Sweetgrass Online Book Discussion
  • October 14: Seeing Through the Trees: California Wildfires, A Native Americn Perspective — Watch on YouTube
  • October 19: Braiding Sweetgrass book discussion moderated by BWP General manager, Dawn Roth Lindell and Laura Tenenbaum, Chair, Sustainable Burbank Commission
  • October 21: Reducing Food Waste
  • October 25: Braiding Sweetgrass book discussion led by Elizabeth Goldman, Library Services Director
  • October 28: Story Owl Hour for kids ages 2-5 at Stough Canyon Nature Center
  • October 28: Sustainability Gardening led by Alicia DeSoto
  • October 30: Young Environmental Activist Speak Up!