All Pikes Peak Reads 2021

Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to announce the selected titles for All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR) 2021. This year's titles explore theme of community.


See 2021 Event Calendar Here.


APPR is Pikes Peak Library District's annual community reads program that focuses on celebrating literature, improving community connections, and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Each year, PPLD selects APPR titles that focus on a variety of timely topics and plans a variety of community-wide programs. This year’s selected titles explore themes of hope, finding community and friendship, how we view those who are different than us, and how marginalized members of society are treated.


All Pikes Peak Reads: Community Conversation on Mental Health

Join Pikes Peak Library District as we welcome several local behavioral health experts for a conversation on mental health. Hidden Valley Road, a 2021 APPR selection, tells the story of a local family who had six sons diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Community Conversations at Pikes Peak Library District is a series of events that invites the public to discuss current events and issues impacting the Pikes Peak region. We want to promote civil dialogue and greater understanding of different perspectives. As things changed with COVID-19, we decided to shift our conversations online.


This panel conversation will unpack themes represented in the book, but also discuss the current state of mental health in Colorado, speak to local resources available for those needing help, and discuss alternatives to police intervention.

After a facilitated discussion, audience Q&A will be welcome. This conversation will be hosted via Zoom. Please register with an email address and a Zoom link will be sent to you.

Panelists include:

  • Roberta Renfro, Manager, Healthcare Transformation, Diversus Health

    Roberta Renfro is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Lead for the Colorado Spirit COVID Response Team at Diversus Health. Roberta is passionate about whole-person, patient-centered healthcare, and believes an integrated healthcare team provides the most comprehensive care. She has spent 10 years providing behavioral healthcare in primary and specialty care settings and managing a team of behavioral healthcare consultants. Prior to her work at Diversus Health, she provided trauma therapy and created group programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • Chris Richardson, Associate Director of Criminal Justice Services at Mental Health Center of Denver, Clinical Supervisor for the STAR Program

    Chris Richardson is the Assoc. Director of Criminal Justice Services at the Mental Health Center of Denver currently overseeing multiple criminal justice entry points withing the sequential intercept model. Most notably Denver’s Co-Responder Unit a program that pairs licensed mental health clinicians with Denver Police Officers, providing on scene support, crisis de escalation, service connection and follow up visits to individuals experiencing mental health crisis in the Denver area. More recently overseeing the Daily operations to Denvers STAR pilot that provides a civilian based response to low level 911 calls. With 14 years of direct clinical services in the field of mental health, the goal is to provide education, service connection and coordination to individuals needing behavioral health supports to sustainable, trauma informed community supports.

    The STAR Program deploys Emergency Response Teams that include Emergency Medical Technicians and Behavioral Health Clinicians to engage individuals experiencing crises related to mental health issues, poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse. Learn more here.

  • Carey Boelter, El Paso County Sheriff's Office Behavioral Health Programs Manager

    Carey Boelter is the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) Behavioral Health Programs Manager. She received her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder and her Masters in Forensic Psychology from the University of Denver. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor extensively trained in providing behavioral health services to those involved in the criminal justice system. She has over 18 years of experience working with offenders to include working with adult sexual offenders in community and locked settings and juveniles with trauma histories and severe behavioral health disorders in secure youth services centers.

    Carey is the Behavioral Health Programs Manager for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In her role she is the CIT Coordinator for the office and is the supervisor for the EPSO co-responder program, Behavioral Health Connect (BHCON). The BHCON Unit responds to 911 calls that appear to be mental health related as well as takes referrals for follow up from patrol. Her team’s philosophy for helping individuals with behavioral health disorders is to provide immediate crisis intervention and link them to the least restrictive service appropriate for their risk and needs. As appropriate, the team will divert individuals from the criminal justice system as well as the local emergency departments. The BHCON team will attempt follow up services with individuals served to ensure individuals have connected with community supports as well as that their needs are being met to lower their risk for criminal justice or crisis involvement in the future.

  • Lori Jarvis-Steinwert, Executive Director, NAMI Colorado Springs

    Lori joined NAMI Colorado Springs as its first paid executive director in 2012, after a 30-year corporate career as a marketing and public affairs professional.

    She learned of NAMI when she took NAMI’s Family-to-Family education program in 2010, and began volunteering soon after, organizing fundraising and awareness initiatives. Under Lori’s leadership, NAMI has grown its annual budget ten-fold; tripled its programs; and spearheaded half a dozen community education initiatives. NAMI now reaches about 3,000 individuals each year through its classes and support groups for those navigating mental illness; presentations to the community; and resource and referral services.

    NAMI welcomes and supports those who live with mental illness, and the families and friends who love them. Through education, support and advocacy, NAMI reinforces that mental health conditions are treatable and that recovery is possible, and connects people with a community of support to help navigate the challenges and complexities of a mental health journey.

    With a model built on peer support, NAMI recognizes and leverages the knowledge and wisdom of those who have lived experience with mental illness. Its footprint and effectiveness have grown largely because of the organization’s 100-plus volunteers, which includes a strong and accomplished governing board of directors. In 2013, Lori was named a Hero of Mental Health by AspenPointe for her efforts to champion whole-person wellness and spearhead efforts to curb stigma and advance treatments. In 2014, she was named Outstanding Emerging Fundraising Professional by the Southern Colorado Association of Fundraising Professionals, and in 2017 the Independence Center honored NAMI with an Americans with Disabilities Act Progress Award for empowering people who live with mental illness. n September of this year, the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute recognized Lori with its first-time Cathy O. Robbins Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership.

  • Cheryl Baeza, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

    Cheryl Baeza is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and resident of Colorado Springs. Her interest in mental health became a part of her life when she was personally affected by mental illness in her family. Her brother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder while Cheryl was attending the University of Southern California for her MSW degree.

    Her 54-year old son has lived with schizophrenia since his teens, and schizophrenia has affected others in the family for generations now. Through her education, professional life, and lived experiences, Cheryl offers valuable insights on the struggles and successes of having family members with a serious mental illness.

    Since 1969, Cheryl’s professional career has included working with children and adoptions, serving as project director for CASA, and educating in the social work field. She has been an active volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness since 1995 and has served in a variety of leadership roles including President of the Board of Directors at NAMI Colorado Springs. Cheryl continues to volunteer her time at NAMI to serve people in our community who are affected by mental illness.

Adult Selections


by Nate Marshall

FinnaDefinition of finna, created by the author: fin·na /ˈfinə/ contraction: (1) going to; intending to [rooted in African American Vernacular English] (2) eye dialect spelling of “fixing to” (3) Black possibility; Black futurity; Blackness as tomorrow These poems consider the brevity and disposability of Black lives and other oppressed people in our current era of emboldened white supremacy, and the use of the Black vernacular in America’s vast reserve of racial and gendered epithets. Finna explores the erasure of peoples in the American narrative; asks how gendered language can provoke violence; and finally, how the Black vernacular, expands our notions of possibility, giving us a new language of hope. Finna has received much critical acclaim and has been named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and the New York Public Library. The word “finna” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in March 2020. In partnership with the Colorado College English Department, this title was chosen as an Adult All Pikes Peak Reads selection to encourage conversation about how we use and change language to reflect and find community, and also to inspire young people to explore the art of poetry to tell their stories.

Virtual Author Visits

Join Pikes Peak Library District for a visit from the Colorado College Mobile Arts Truck! Meet Nate Marshall, a local poet and author of Finna, a 2021 All Pikes Peak Reads selection. You will also have the chance to participate in a short poetry workshop, listen to a reading by Nate, and grab a poetry craft to take home.

  • When: Thu., Oct. 14 from 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Where: Library 21c
  • This event will be followed by a facilitated Q&A with Nate Marshall in the Venue at Library 21c.

Q&A with Nate Marshall Join Pikes Peak Library District and Nate Marshall, author of Finna, a 2021 All Pikes Peak Reads selection, for a facilitated Q&A session. Along with discussing Finna, Nate will discuss themes of language and the role language plays in our lives and society.


Hidden Valley Road

by Robert Kolker

Hidden Valley Road

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins - aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony - and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? Hidden Valley Road is an Oprah Book Club Pick, #1 New York Times Bestseller, and has been named Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Time, and many others. This title was chosen as an Adult All Pikes Peak Reads Selection because of its local connection to the Colorado Springs community, its exploration of mental illness and associated stigmas, and its ability to shed new light on Schizophrenia and its treatments.

Virtual Author Visit.


Both Finna and Hidden Valley Road contain adult themes and language.

Young Adult Title


by Noelle Stevenson Nimona Nimona is a brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson, full of nemeses, dragons, science, symbolism and more! Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. Nimona was chosen to be our Young Adult All Pikes Peak Reads 2021 pick due to its themes of finding community in unlikely places, enduring friendship, and exploration of how we treat those in our community we see as different. We also love its witty tone, graphic novel format, and deconstruction of fairy tale tropes. Nimona was selected as Indies Choice Book of the Year, National Book Award Finalist, New York Times Bestseller, New York Times Notable Book, Kirkus Best Book, School Library Journal Best Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book, and NPR Best Book.

There will not be an author visit for the Young Adult book this year.

Children’s Title

Indian No More

by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell Indian No MoreRegina Petit's family is forced from their homeland by the government and relocated to Los Angeles in 1957. Regina experiences a completely different life in a big city and learns about struggles, strength, community and heritage. For grades 3 - 6. Indian No More was selected for the Children’s APPR book because this unique story based on historical events demonstrates appreciation and understanding for heritage and finding community where you are planted. Indian No More was the winner of the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Middle Grade and chosen as a 2020 Global Read Aloud. The late Charlene Willing Mcmanis (1953-2018) was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Los Angeles. She was of Umpqua tribal heritage and enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. This novel is based on her family’s experiences after their tribe was terminated in 1954. She passed away in 2018, knowing that her friend Traci Sorell would complete the revisions Charlene was unable to finish. Virtual Author Visit.