By Marline L. Casseus, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library
This year’s Community Read with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is bigger, bolder and better than ever before. There are important topics to discuss, many partners hosting events and discussions, and plenty of ways for readers of all ages to get involved. Best of all, the Library is bringing award-winning and New York Times best-selling author, Angie Thomas to Charlotte for a sold-out event at CPCC on March 19.
Everyone in the community is invited to participate in Community Read 2019 by reading the books, talking about them, and attending library and partner programs. Together with its sponsors, partners and local community, the Library strives to open books and open minds.
This year’s main Community Read title is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The novel deals with sometimes controversial issues that are important nationally and locally in the Charlotte community. Community Read will launch conversations in Library and partner locations that will help the community heal, strengthen ongoing relationships, and ultimately help make a stronger community. This year’s complete selection of companion titles with related themes are:
- For adults and teens: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- For middle grades: Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
- For young children: Love by Matt de la Peña
Community Read is presented by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in collaboration with more than 30 community partners, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Community Building Initiative and many more.
This year’s goal is to engage 10% of the Charlotte community – 100,000 people – with Community Read through the Library and with partner organizations.
How can I get involved?
Community Read is for everyone. Everyone is encouraged to read one or more of the Community Read books. While The Hate U Give is intended for teens and adults, companion titles Wishtree and Love are suitable for younger readers. The Library hopes families will read them together and participate in programs designed for children. Everyone in the community is also invited to participate in at least one program or discussion. The current listings of Library-led and partner-led programs for all ages are linked to the main web page. Everyone is also invited to get involved through social media (#CommunityRead2019) to celebrate a love of reading together by posting and sharing relevant contents.
Where can I get a copy?
All three titles are available at Library locations in print and digital formats. Also, the Library expanded its digital license to permit simultaneous downloads of audiobooks and e-books during the month of March.
Additionally, generous investments from presenting sponsor Bank of America and from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and Foundation For The Carolinas have allowed for the purchase of more than 2,000 copies of the book for distribution at Library and partner locations, while supplies last.
Editor’s Note: Jaime Pollard-Smith and Elizabeth West, CPCC English instructors (and Charlotte Lit workshop leaders) have expanded their “Levine Reads” book discussion to include all CPCC campuses in collaboration with the library’s Community Read of The Hate You Give. More info is here.