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Oceanside's Big Read: Into the Beautiful North

Join the Oceanside Public Library for a series of free events created for Oceanside and inspired by Into the Beautiful North, the hilarious and gut-wrenching novel by Luis Alberto Urrea. The Library will celebrate the book and its cast of unforgettable characters with a community read all throughout the month of March.

This will be the sixth NEA Big Read program presented by the Library. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read goal is to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. From March 1 to March 29, 2020, in addition to book discussions throughout the City, the Library will host an exciting array of special programs, all free and open to the public.


  • March 1—Kick-off event featuring the exhibit Regata Abscisa by trans-border artist Griselda Rosas who will be onsite for an interactive art project and conversation. Free copies of the book will be given away at the event, one per family, while supplies last. Oceanside Museum of Art at 3 p.m.
  • March 3Heroic Journeys: the Immigrant Experience in Into the Beautiful North, a panel discussion. Moderator Karla Cordero (poet, artist, and educator) will explore themes from the book with panelists with distinct connections to immigration. Aztlan B at MiraCosta College at 6:00 p.m.
  • March 7—Mariachi Garibaldi concert. Come hear the west coast's premier mariachi ensemble. Civic Center Library Community Rooms at 1:00 p.m.
  • March 12—Conversation with Into the Beautiful North author Luis Alberto Urrea. The author will join Telemundo producer Paulina Castro for conversation about the timely novel. MiraCosta College Concert Hall at 6:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and signing. No registration required.
  • March 21—Join actors from the San Diego Repertory Theatre as they perform select readings from Into the Beautiful North. Civic Center Library Community Rooms at 3:00 p.m.
  • March 24—Participate in a virtual Spanish-language book club with Biblioteca Pública Benito Juarez and Biblioteca Pública Central Estatal. Civic Center Library Board Room at 6 p.m.
  • March 28—Celebrate the finale of the Big Read by participating in La Osa Bowling Tournament. Registration is required, contact the Library for more information. Surf Bowl at 1:00 p.m.
  • March 29—Join Regata Abscisa artist, Griselda Rosas, for a corn tortilla making workshop. Register at Linksoul and Hill Street Country Club at 11:00 a.m.

Filled with extraordinary characters, Into the Beautiful North is set in Mexico, and then the United States and follows the journey of the main character, Nayeli, as she travels north seeking seven of her village’s best fighters who have gone to the U.S. to look for work.  The men are needed to help defend Nayeli’s home, Tres Camarones, against bandidos who threaten to take over the small town.

The accompanying program for children, called The Little Read, will highlight the book, The First Rule of Punk by Celia Pérez, a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one's watching. Related programs for children and tweens, all free and open to the public, will include:


  • Tween Book Clubs and Zine Making Workshops, for ages 8-12. Join a discussion on The First Rule of Punk.Civic Center Library, March 18, 4 p.m. Mission Branch Library Community Room, March 25, 4 p.m.


  • Frank Haynes Marionettes: Las Marionetas en Desfile, for all ages. Enjoy a fiesta show that teaches about some of the traditions of Latin America while teaching common Spanish words that are important to know! Civic Center Library Community Rooms, March 21, 11 a.m.


  • Family Movie: A Bug's Life, for all ages. Embark on an incredible journey with one little ant as he searches for a brave band of warriors to help him battle the bullying grasshoppers who threaten his home. When he stumbles on a bumbling troupe of circus bugs instead, their only hope for victory is the bond of friendship and the awesome power of imagination. Rated G. Mission Branch Library Community Room, March 23, 6 p.m.


For more information on the Big Read in Oceanside, including a full list of book discussions throughout the month, please visit the Library’s website at or call 760-435-5600. 

NEA Big Read in Oceanside is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, with contributions from the Friends of the Oceanside Public Library and the Oceanside Public Library Foundation, and with generous support from many community partners. All programs are free and open to the pu