And the book chosen for Read Together Palm Beach County 2012 is...
"The Last Train to Paradise" by Les Standiford!
Read Together Palm Beach County Press Conference 2012
ABOUT THE BOOKS
- Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
More than twenty years ago, loner Larry Ott took a pretty girl to the movies and came home alone. She was never found. Now another young woman is missing and suspicion has fallen on Larry again. The chief investigator is local constable Silas Jones, Larry’s unlikely boyhood friend in their small, racially divided Mississippi town. In this mystery novel, the only way to get to the truth is by uncovering the past...
- Digging to America by Anne Tyler
Two families become intertwined when they both adopt baby girls from Korea. This gently humorous novel explores the notions of fitting in, what it is to be an "American," and the adventure of finding love again in later years. An insightful tale of culture clash, with endearing characters working their unique ways through the bustle and flow of family life.
- Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford
The true story of a man of extraordinary vision and drive. Oil tycoon Henry Flagler spent the last years of his life building a railroad to span the length of Florida, including 157 miles of open ocean to Key West. The story captures the herculean efforts of the dedicated men who built this engineering marvel, plagued by mosquito and alligator infested swamplands and the fury of hurricanes. Travel through familiar Florida spots and explore early twentieth century attitudes towards working conditions, the environment and the tourist industry.
- Picking Cotton by Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson
A memoir of forgiveness and redemption. Ron Cotton is wrongly accused of committing a brutal rape. Based in part on the testimony of the victim, he is convicted and spends 11 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence. He not only forgives, but befriends his accuser and her family. The authors have been instrumental in current efforts to change the way eyewitness testimony is used by police and prosecutors.
- Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
What happens when civil rights collide with national security in the aftermath of a natural catastrophe? Dave Eggers explores this issue through the true story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, an ordinary man living through the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Zeitoun remains in New Orleans to protect his business after his family evacuates, but his future is threatened when he is arrested. A gripping and disturbing view of America's response to natural and man-made disasters.
READ TOGETHER PALM BEACH COUNTY 2012PURPOSE: To involve 10,000 - 20,000 adults throughout Palm Beach County in reading the same book at the same time. This community reading campaign will entice adults who can read, but often don't, to get involved in the habit of reading again. It will also promote community dialogue and engagement as citizens gather together to discuss key themes.
HISTORY: Based on the success of similar campaigns in Seattle and Chicago, the Campaign Coordinating Committee has conducted Read Together Palm Beach County in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. In each campaign, thousands of adults read and discussed with great enthusiasm the chosen community book: Fahrenheit 451, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Book Thief.
RECOGNITION: Former Governor Jeb Bush wrote to every city in Florida and encouraged them to form "One Book, One Community" reading campaigns based on the Palm Beach County model. Read Together Palm Beach County produced a handbook on how to conduct a similar reading campaign and Former Governor Bush urged municipalities to use this book to guide them in their campaigns.
PARTICIPANTS: Businesses, libraries, chambers of commerce, municipalities, local book clubs, neighborhood associations and many other groups.
- Participants will gain a greater understanding of what it means to be part of a community through book discussion opportunities.
- Children who observe their parents engaged in reading in a fun way will be motivated to enjoy reading.
- The campaign will bring people from diverse backgrounds together as they read a common book.
- Public awareness about the importance of reading will increase.
- Adults will regain an interest in leisure reading.
- Reading and literacy will gain a higher place in the community's priorities.
- New partnerships will be formed by community and civic groups.
A January 2009 report published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy, indicates that the percentage of American adults who reported reading "novels, short stories, poems or plays" rose from 46.7 percent in 2002 to 50.2 percent in 2008. Then NEA Chairman Dana Goia addressed the change in an interview with The Washington Post in which he stated, "Over the past six years there has been a new sense of urgency in the United States about the cultural disaster represented by the decline in reading. As a result, millions of teachers, librarians, parents, politicians and others put their energies into reversing the trend." Mr. Goia specifically credited community-wide reading campaigns, such as Read Together Palm Beach County, for being important catalysts in engaging more adults to read.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PAST READ TOGETHER CAMPAIGNS:
- In 2002, Renee Montagne of National Public Radio hosted a two hour public discussion of Fahrenheit 451 at the Duncan Theatre. The event included a telephone interview with author Ray Bradbury, in Los Angeles, who answered questions from the audience in Lake Worth.
- In 2004, the campaign finale featured a presentation by writer Valerie Boyd about her biography of Zora Neal Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Jazz musicians performed music of the Harlem Renaissance era and drama students from Glades Central High School performed an original readers' theater production of the novel.
- In 2006, actress Mary Badham, who had played "Scout" in the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, discussed how the book and the film had affected her life. In addition, the Mockingbird Players, a community theater troupe from Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, presented scenes from the novel.
- In 2008, the finale featured an interpretation of The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Palm Beach Dramaworks and a talk by the novel's author, Kim Edwards.
- In 2010, author Markus Zusak was interviewed via Skype from his home in Australia. Mr. Zusak charmed the 600 finale attendees with his self-deprecating humor and thoughtful answers to the questions posed by the audience.
Previous Read Together books:
Their Eyes Were
Zora Neale Hurston
To Kill a
The Memory Keeper's
The Book Thief
Read Together Palm Beach County 2012 Community PartnersThe Soup Kitchen
Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County
My Choice Community Development, Inc.
S.B. Idea, Inc.
Horses & the Handicapped of South Florida, Inc.
Town of Palm Beach United Way
Florida Department of Children and Families
Family Central, Inc.
Boys Town South Florida
United Way Palm Beach County
Page Turner Adventures
Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County
Palm Beach Chamber
West Palm Beach Library Foundation
Area Agency on Aging
DePorres P.L.A.C.E., Inc.
Center for Strategic Philanthropy & Civic Engagement
FAU's Lifelong Learning Society - Jupiter
PBC Commission District 3
Florida Atlantic University Library and Lifelong Learning - Boca Raton
Sunset Bay and Cove Book Group
Palm Beach State College Library - Lake Worth
Family Central, Inc. Resource Library
Park Vista High School
Seminole Ridge High School
A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Keiser University West Palm Beach
Holy Cross Catholic Preschool and Center
Classical South Florida
Boca Raton Public Libraries
Riviera Beach Public Library
School of Palm Beach County/Library Media Services
Kiwanis Club of Jupiter-Tequesta
Lake Worth Public Library
Hispanic Human Resources Council, Inc.
Palm Springs Public Library
Delray Beach Public Library
West Palm Beach Public Library
Barnes & Noble (Boynton Beach)
Old School Square Cultural Arts Center
Jupiter Community High School
Center for Family Services, Inc.
North Palm Beach Library
AAUW Palm Beach County Branch
My Book Place, Tequesta
Kiwanis Clubs of Division 20-Florida District
Hamlet Residents Association, Inc.
Read Together AmbassadorsLaurel Baker
Edith C. Bush
Mary Kay Murray
Brandy Upright Truex