Quest Novel Selected For The 2015 Wichita Big Read
The City of Wichita begins its eighth year in the Big Read program with the selection of a quest novel. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has more.
The Wichita Big Read program is an annual event that encourages people to read the same book, and then take it a step further by participating in related literary and art events throughout the fall.
Wichita Public Library Director Cynthia Berner says this year’s novel is “Into the Beautiful North” by Mexican-American writer Luis Alberto Urrea.
“It is the story of a 19-year old woman who is struggling to protect her small town in Mexico from being taken over by banditos,” Berner says.
Berner says Wichita has one of the longest running Big Read programs in the nation, with just a handful of other cities hosting Big Reads for as long as Wichita. The city began participating in 2008 when the National Endowment of the Arts created the Big Read after research showed a decline in literary reading across the U.S.
Berner says getting people to connect with reading is important.
"When people do take advantage of literary reading, they are also the individuals who are most likely in a community to be engaged in a community in a lot of other important quality of life issues," she says.
The 2015 Wichita Big Read runs from October 1-November 15. For more information, visit BigReadWichita.org.