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The Hood River Reads 2023 selection is



Rough House by Tina Ontiveros - Hood River Reads selection


In her gripping and courageous debut memoir rough house, author Tina Ontiveros tells  the story of her experiences as a young girl  growing up in Pacific Northwest logging camps and working-class towns amidst her family’s intergenerational trauma and poverty.

The author describes her journey of love, loss, pain, acceptance, and finding herself after growing up divided between a charming,  mercurial, abusive father and a mother struggling with small-town poverty. In  searingly honest, straightforward prose, rough  house tells how the author tried to understand her father and family from an adult perspective. She explores universal themes of parents and children, how poverty can shape family relationships, and her journey to a different kind of adulthood. rough house confirms our shared humanity and reminds us that sometimes pain can make us strong.

We also recommend the article The LIfe We Pay For by Tina Ontiveros, Oregon Humanities magazine Spring 2019.

Tina Ontiveros


Tina Ontiveros is a writer and teacher based in the Pacific Northwest. She was born in Idaho and raised below the federal poverty line, living mostly with her single mother at the edge of the Oregon desert, but often with her migrating dad in small timber towns across the Northwest. As the first person in her family to go to college, she completed her college education while raising her children. After community college, she earned her BA in Literature at Marylhurst University, then her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Goddard College. As a writer and a teacher, Tina explores class, generational hardship, and the social constructs that  marginalize the poor. Her essay, The Life We Pay For, was a top ten most read 2019 Oregon Humanities Magazine feature. Her memoir, rough house, was a  national Indie Next Great Read, an Oregon Book Award finalist, and winner of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Award. Tina lives in Hood River County and  teaches at Columbia Gorge Community College.

Hood River Reads

Hood River County Reads is an annual, county-wide project sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Our goal is to encourage readers of all ages to read and discuss books. We choose books and authors that reflect the diversity of our community and that will be shared widely with our county’s individuals and families.

Hood River Reads also sponsors several events for adults and students, including talks and workshops by the visiting authors.



HRR Kick-off



Hood River Library @ 2 pm for program and refreshments

Parkdale and Cascade Locks Libraries @ 10 am – 2 pm for book distribution

Collage Project: What Does Home Mean To Me? (for Youth)

SATURDAY, MARCH 25 @ 10:30am-12:30pm

Led by Artist Courtney Richards.

Sign-up HERE.

Storytelling Workshop: Bringing Your Stories To Life with Will Hornyak (for Adults)

SATURDAY, APRIL 1 10am-12pm in the Meeting Room

Sign-up HERE.

Fool’s Gold! Stories of Unlikely Gifts with Will Hornyak (All Ages)

SATURDAY, APRIL 1 @ 1 pm in the Reading Room

Challenged Lives: Help and Hope in Our Community

TUESDAY, APRIL 4 @ 12pm AT THE FISH Food Bank Community Room

Panelists and resource information from various local social service agencies.

Hood River Library Book Club: rough house

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 12:30 pm in the Meeting Room & on Zoom

Click here to join via Zoom

Writing Workshop with Tina Ontiveros

SATURDAY, APRIL 15 @ 10:00 am -12:00 pm in the Meeting Room

Sign-up HERE.

Waiting list Sign-up HERE

Public Presentation by author Tina Ontiveros

SUNDAY, APRIL 16 @ 2 pm

We Couldn’t Do It Without You!

Thank You to Our Supporters:
Many Volunteers!
Waucoma Books
FISH Food Bank
Local Social Service Agencies
Hood River County Teachers
Weatherly Printing
Middle and High School Artists

Special Thanks To:
Hood River County Library Foundation
Starseed Foundation
Hood River County Education Foundation
Hood River Cultural Trust
Hood River Valley LEOS
Friends of the Hood River County Library
Providence Community Benefit Fund
Gorge Community Foundation’s Pat Hazlehurst       Endowment Fund
Leighton Hazlehurst

for their continuing support of the Hood River County Reads literacy project for
Hood River County

Looking Back:  Past Hood River Reads Books

Our program began in 2006 and we have been very fortunate that the authors (or, in one case, the author’s son) have been able to come to Hood River to interact with members of the community and to work with students at the schools.

We encourage you to read and discuss all of the Hood River Reads books!


2006: Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff

2007: Gonzales and Daughter Trucking Company by Maria Amparo Escandon and Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

2008: River Song by Craig Lesley

2009: Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler

2010: The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss

2012: The Circuit/Cajas de carton by Francisco Jimenez

2013: Ricochet River by Robin Cody and Something to Hold by Katherine Schlick Noe

2014: Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems by William Stafford

2015: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea and Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan

2016: Martin Marten by Brian Doyle

2017: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

2018: Moreno. Prieto. Brown by Alejandro Jimenez and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2019: Temperance Creek by Pamela Royes

2020/2021: The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

2022: A Fire Story by Brian Fies

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