OCOB 2021 selection "Your House Will Pay"

Cover art of One County, One Book by Steph Cha, the OCOB 2021 selection

The Ventura County Library announced the 2021 One County, One Book community reading title selection: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

From the official description, Your House Will Pay is “A powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in L.A., following two families—one Korean-American, one African-American—grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime.” 

The One County, One Book programming took place during the month of October 2021, culminating with an author talk featuring Steph Cha on Saturday, October 30.

Cal Lutheran panel of Your House Will Pay

Companion Reads

Like Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay, the following fiction and nonfiction books deal with the Los Angeles riots, immigrant families, black American frustration, activism, and more. We hope reading these books helps you develop a deeper understanding of our county’s and country’s diversity.
See The Generous Reader post on OCOB Read-Alikes

Fiction Titles

  • Forgotten CountryCatherine Chung - Immigration, identity, and two estranged sisters are the focus of this book about a Korean-American family with a mysterious past (2012).
  • The FortunesPeter Ho Davies - A series of short stories dramatizing the Asian-American experience from the time of railroad building in the 19th century to today (2016).
  • House of Sand and FogAndre Dubus - An emotional legal struggle over a piece of real estate in northern California pits a West Asian immigrant against a white woman (1999).
  • All InvolvedRyan Gatti - Six inter-related individuals live through the LA riots following the Rodney King decision (2015).
  • The Other AmericansLaila Lalami - In a multi-cultural Mojave desert town, a Moroccan immigrant and popular diner owner dies in a hit and run car accident his daughter maintains was intentional (2019).
  • Riot BabyTochi Onyelaichi - Two black siblings with extraordinary powers commune when one is wrongly imprisoned because of race in this dystopian narrative (2020).

Nonfiction Titles

  • Minor Feeling: an Asian-American reckoning, Cathy Park Hong - Hong’s timely essays dissect what it truly means to be Asian American, blending memoir, social criticism, and history (2020). 
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: a Black Lives Matter Memoir, Patrisse Kahn-Cullors - The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement talks about what led to the founding of the organization and what it really stands for (2018). 
  • The Riot Within: my journey from rebellion to redemption, Rodney G. King - King’s beating and the subsequent trial of his police assailants led to the LA riots of 1992.  This is his autobiography (2012). 
  • The Good Immigrant: 26 writers reflect on America, Nikesh Shukla - A diverse group of essays looking at myriad aspects of what it means to be an immigrant in America in the 21st century (2016). 
  • The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: justice, gender and the origins of the LA riots, Brenda E. Stevenson - An examination of the death of a teen-aged black girl in a convenience store, and how the legal case’s conclusion contributed to the LA riots (2013).  
  • Anti Racist Ally: an introduction to action and activism, Sophie Williams - What it means to be an ally to someone of another race than your own, and how you can best be a good ally (2020). 

The following lists were put together as additional reading for children and young adults.
See The Generous Reader post on OCOB Read-Alikes for youth

Ages 15+

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
  • Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang  (Graphic novel)
  • <Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds (Non-fiction)

Ages 9-14

  • Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
  • Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
  • Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
  • What Lane? By Torrey Maldonado
  • Three Keys by Kelly Yang
  • Class Act by Jerry Craft  (Graphic novel)
  • The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth by Wade Hudson (Non-fiction)
  • This Is Your Brain On Stereotypes: How Science Is Tackling Unconscious Bias by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Drew Shannon (Non-Fiction)

Ages 3-8

  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson  (Self-expression/Common ground)
  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar (Cultural differences/Friendship)
  • Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Mendez (Emigration/Immigration)
  • Northbound by Michael S. Bandy (Segregation)
  • Lubaya’s Quiet Roar by Marilyn Nelson (Activism)

Discussion Questions

Printable set of discussion questions for Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Partners and Sponsors

Ventura County Library presents the 2021 One County, One Book program, made possible through a primary sponsorship from the Ventura County Library Foundation.               

Other program partners also contributed to the One County, One Book program by hosting book discussion groups and related programming, making copies of the selected title available for checkout, publicizing the program, or creating other opportunities for community members and students to participate and be involved.

These partners include California Lutheran University, the Museum of Ventura County, and the Ojai Valley Library Friends and Foundation.

See past One County, One Book selections

One County, One Book titles