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Teens, adults urged to join 'community reads together' project

Avid readers of all ages are invited to participate in "a community reads together project."

A nonfiction book and a young adult novel — both written by Minnesotans — have been selected for "Park Rapids Area Reads Together" and "Teens Read Together" programs.

Book discussions, a writing workshop and author visits will be held in late March in conjunction with the community reading "clubs."

The project is a partnership between the Park Rapids Area Library, Nemeth Art Center, Friends of the Library and the Park Rapids Area League of Women Voters (PRALWV).

"The book we have chosen, 'A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota,' is a compilation of writing by Minnesota authors" said Jodi Schultz, the library's branch manager.

"A Good Time for the Truth" draws stories from a diverse range of races, noted PRALWV President Carolynne White.

"The league was invited to partner with the library mainly because we have been doing Ojibwe cultural awareness events for the last two years. As a league, we had been talking about a way to move from awareness and to building a community," White said. "We often talk about community being larger than just the city of Park Rapids."

Thirty copies of the book have been purchased by Friends of the Library. They will be available to borrow beginning Monday, Jan. 23. To join the list of borrowers, call the library at 732-4966.

Even if you choose to purchase your own copy of the book or borrow a friend's, Schultz asks all participating readers to notify the library.

"Knowing the number of participants will be helpful in planning follow-up activities," she said.

Organizers are in touch with the book's editor and contributors and are planning author-led forums on Saturday, March 25 at the Northwoods Bank community room. A writing workshop will be offered as well.

"'See No Color' is the book we have chosen for Teens Read Together, a common reading experience for area teens," Schultz said.

"See No Color" is young adult fiction novel about a biracial, 16-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. Set in Wisconsin, the book was written by Minneapolis author Shannon Gibney.

The Park Rapids Area Library purchased 20 copies of the novel, using Barb Ranson Memorial Funds. Again, contact 732-4966 to borrow one of the books.

Gibney will lead a book discussion about her novel Sunday, March 25 at the library.

Organizers are currently seeking grant money to bring the presenters to Park Rapids. Local service clubs interested in helping fund the events may contact Schultz.

After the community reads together project, Schultz will create Book Clubs in a Bag at the library. Each bag contains 10 paperback copies of a book, plus one discussion guide. They are a great resource for local book clubs, which can borrow them from the library. Some copies of "A Good Time for the Truth" and "See No Color" will be given as gifts to local schools as well, Schultz said.