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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7a40000The National Endowment for the Arts' "Big Read" looks to encourage literacy by holding community events around the country celebrating a single book each year. This year's book selection is Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea, which follows a nineteen-year-old woman who travels to the United States to bring back seven men--including her father--to help defend her Mexican village from danger.Of course, the stories of people who come to this country are wide and varied, and many of those stories live right here in Wichita. Over the next few weeks, we'll hear some of those stories. Follow them below.-The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of citizens. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

2012 Big Read Wichita To Celebrate “The Great Gatsby”

Charles Scribner's Sons
The original cover of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

At the Wichita City Council meeting Tuesday Mayor Carl Brewer announced the Big Read would return for the fifth year this fall.

This year’s selection for the Big Read will be “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and will run October 1 through November 21.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment of the Arts and is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Wichita is one of 78 communities participating in the Big Read this year, which makes the city one of the longest running Big Read communities in the nation.

At the City Council meeting Brewer said reading enriches the reader and the community.

“Research provides this is true,” said Brewer. “Reading is important for personal development, civic enhancement and community enhancement.”

Brewer will serve as an honorary chair of Big Read Wichita, along with Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton and Wichita Public Schools Board of Education President Betty Arnold.

There will be events throughout the fall to Celebrate Big Read Wichita, starting with a kickoff event October 6 at the Wichita Art Museum.

KMUW is media sponsor of the Big Read Wichita.