Read Between the Ravines

Read with Lake Forest Library

Why We Read

We are happy you have decided to read with your family, friends, neighbors, and us! Lake Forest Library Reading Programs are designed to encourage shared reading experiences, thoughtful discussions, and meaningful community connections. For students, reading outside of school also helps enhance their academic abilities and reduce loss of skills over school breaks.

In addition to reading, our reading programs often invite you to attend Library programs, complete fun activities, or tackle other challenges to enhance your reading journey. Not to mention prizes!

On this page you'll find details about a specific reading program. All programs can be completed using paper logs -OR- online using the Beanstack app. If you have any questions about the program or using Beanstack, please contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing

Using the Beanstack App

Absolutely! The Library continues to provide paper logs for all reading programs. They are available to download and print below, or you can pick them up at the Children's Circulation Desk or Adult Reference Desk.

  1. Download the free Beanstack app from your device's app store.
  2. Open the app and select "At my library, school, or bookstore."
  3. Select "Find a site."
  4. Search for "Lake Forest Library" and select it from the search results.
  5. Create your Beanstack app account using your email address and making up a password.
  6. *Tip* You can add multiple readers to the same account (such as your partner or children), and every reader can join different challenges.
  7. Select "Challenges" and join the current challenge.

If you prefer, you can create a Beanstack account and access open challenges in your browser by visiting the Library's Beanstack page at

If you don’t remember if you have an account, contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing

  1. Open the Beanstack app or visit in your browser.
  2. Select "Sign In" and enter your email address and password.
  3. Select "Challenges" and enroll in the current reading program.
  4. Begin reading, completing activities, and logging your progress!

If you forgot what email address you used when creating your Beanstack account, contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing

  1. Open the Beanstack app or visit in your browser.
  2. Sign in.
  3. If you have multiple readers on the same account (such as you and your children), you can switch between readers by tapping or selecting your name, initials, or profile image.
  4. In the app, tap the big plus sign ➕. If you're using the browser, select "Log reading and activities."
  5. Follow the prompts to enter your achievements.

You can always ask your Lake Forest Librarians for help. Contact us by calling 847.234.0636 or emailing

In the app:

  1. Tap the gear icon ⚙
  2. Tap help

In your browser: Info coming soon.


Read Between the Ravines

Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book

Lake Forest Library and Lake Bluff Public Library are proud to present our joint nonfiction reading program called Read Between the Ravines. This Two Communities, One Nonfiction Book program brings together Lake Forest and Lake Bluff with the purpose of enhancing nonfiction literacy and inspiring discussion around real-world issues.

Read Between the Ravines 2023

"An Indian among los Indígenas upends a canon of travel memoirs that has historically been dominated by white writers. It is a sharp, honest, and unnerving examination of the shadows that colonial history casts over even the most well-intentioned attempts at cross-cultural aid." —Smithsonian Magazine

"Pike's emotional honesty ... combined with her hard questions about the effectiveness of the Peace Corps and the white saviorism often built into charity work lend a heft not always found in armchair travel. Highly recommended for memoir and travel readers, and book clubs." —Booklist

"Ursula Pike is a fine writer, with an eye for people and places in Bolivia, and an ear for the sounds of languages, buses, and silence; she is deeply reflective about the critical tensions of the cross-cultural experience and the mission to serve; and Pike is Indigenous herself, an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe of Northern California who grew up an "urban Indian," largely in Portland, Oregon." —Worldview Magazine


About the Book

When she was twenty-five, Ursula Pike boarded a plane to Bolivia and began her term of service in the Peace Corps. A member of the Karuk Tribe, Pike expected to make meaningful connections with Indigenous people halfway around the world. After all, she was not just another privileged volunteer. She was "one of the good ones"—a fellow Native who wanted to help lift a community out of poverty through economic development.

But her hopefulness quickly turned to something different. She was there to help Bolivians, but instead they helped her: cooking her food, washing her clothes, teaching her to navigate the geography and language. Even her plans for “economic development” seemed questionable, as if they meant expecting a community to choose between its culture and its future.

Over the next two years, as a series of dramatic episodes brought these tensions to boiling point, she began to ask: What does it mean to have experienced the effects of colonialism firsthand, and yet to risk becoming a colonizing force in turn?

An Indian among los Indígenas, Pike's memoir of this experience, upends a canon of travel memoirs that has historically been dominated by white writers. It is a sharp, honest, and unnerving examination of the shadows that colonial history casts over even the most well-intentioned attempts at cross-cultural solidarity. It is also the debut of an exceptionally astute writer with a mastery of deadpan wit.

Go to the catalog to borrow "An Indian Among Los Indígenas" by Ursula Pike


About the Author

Ursula Pike is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work won the 2019 Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest in the memoir category, and her writing has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, World Literature Today, and Ligeia Magazine. She has an MA in economics, with a focus on community economic development, and was a Peace Corps fellow at Western Illinois University. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia from 1994 to 1996. An enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe, she was born in California and grew up in Daly City, California, and Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Events & Discussion

Jump to: This Year's SelectionResourcesPartnersPrevious Selections

Upcoming Events

Author Ursula Pike and Michelle LaPena in Conversation

The Blue and Yellow Kitchen Podcast: An Indian Smong Los Indigenas with Ursula Pike

A Virtual Tour of American Indian Cultures

Understanding the Land Acknowledgement

Organization & Nonprofits

Peace Corps Worldwide

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

Native Governance Center


The Atlantic - "The White Savior Industrial Complex" by Teju Cole –

Joy Harjo -Resources for Poetry Relief –

Native Knowledge 360 - Teaching & Learning about Native Americans –

Peace Corps Worldwide Review — AN INDIAN AMONG LOS INDIGENAS by Ursula Pike (Bolivia) –

Thank You to Our Partners

Jump to: This Year's SelectionEvents & DiscussionResourcesPrevious Selections