The two purposes of the Community Read are to celebrate literacy in the coolest corner of North Carolina and encourage discussions about literature between old friends, with new acquaintances, and among generations of families.
WhatI Came to Tell You by Asheville author Tommy Hays has been selected as the 2016 Ashe County Community Read because it perfectly reflects these purposes. Written for ages 10 to 100, this novel is a 2015-16 Nominee for the North Carolina Young Adult Award and a Fall 2013 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). A synopsis from Kirkus Reviews reads as follows:
Twelve-year-old Grover and his little sister, Sudie, have already lost their mother, and now their father, director of the Thomas Wolfe house in Asheville, N.C., has practically disappeared as well, throwing himself into his work. Grover and Sudie spend most of their time in the city’s Bamboo Forest, where Grover creates intricate weavings from bamboo, leaves and grass. When kids Emma Lee and Clay move in next door from Roan Mountain, Grover and Sudie discover they have the loss of a parent in common; Emma Lee and Clay’s father was killed in Iraq. In addition to grief, this ambitious offering explores the meanings and value of art, faith and destiny, and Appalachian mountain culture…Readers will be quickly and surely drawn in by quirky siblings Grover and Sudie, rooting for them to find a measure of peace and happiness in the wake of tragedy.
Community Read events begin on May 7. In the morning, library staff visit the Ashe County Farmers Market to hand out copies of the book and promote related events. Later in the day, the public is invited to attend an original ensemble performance, Tales from the Bamboo Forest, at Ashe Civic Center. Performances will be held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
On May 28, Bamboo-Palooza at the library offers a host of activities related to the book. These include a bamboo wind chime craft, a showing of Fantastic Mr. Fox, a barn quilt art workshop sponsored by the Quilt Square Girls, and a book discussion.
On June 11, author Tommy Hays visits the library to host a discussion of the book and meet our community readers!
All Ashe County Community Read events are free and the fare is family-friendly. Visit the library website at www.ashelibrary.org or call 336-846-2041 to learn more about book discussion locations and additional Community Read events. We can’t wait to talk to all of y’all about What I Came to Tell You!