Wichita Public Library officials said Thursday that “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea is the selection for this year’s Wichita Big Read.
This is the city’s eighth year hosting the Big Read, a community-wide reading program of the National Endowment of the Arts. Seventy-five communities across the country are hosting the event to encourage diverse audiences to read the same book and participate in events.
The Wichita Public Library and other organizations will host events in conjunction with the book’s themes of immigration and culture. The events kick off Sept. 19 at the Wichita Art Museum, and the official Big Read will take place Oct. 1 through Nov. 15.
“Into the Beautiful North” is a quest novel that tells the story of a 19-year-old woman struggling to defend her Mexican village from bandits.
“It’s the story of a young person who sees things happening in her community that are disappointing to her, and she takes the initiative to solve those problems,” said Cynthia Berner, director of libraries. “There is great opportunity for conversation, so it creates a very interesting program for our community.”
Big Read Wichita also chose four companion books for children and young adults participating in the event.
Berner said the event has given Wichitans an opportunity to improve their quality of life through literature and involvement in activities over the past eight years.
“Only a handful of other cities have hosted the event as consistently as we have,” Vice Mayor James Clendenin said in a news release. “This speaks to the high level of community involvement among our citizens and the great work of our library in hosting such entertaining and educational programs.”
To learn more about the book and the schedule of events, visit www.BigReadWichita.org.
Reach Alyssa Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Read events
▪ Pre-party for “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea; 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd. The event includes book giveaways, mariachi music, readers theater, trivia and refreshments.
▪ Migration of the Monarchs; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 26, Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. North. Celebrating the northern migration of the Monarch butterfly, including a presentation by naturalist Jim Mason, butterfly face-painting and museum activities.
▪ Day of the Dead & Memorial Celebrations; 1-3 p.m. Oct. 17, Mid-America All-Indian Center, 650 N. Seneca. Learn about Day of the Dead and how it is celebrated by Native Americans and in Mexican culture.