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Reading together focus of new library program
reading program pic
“Esperanza Rising,” by Pam Muñoz Ryan, is the selection for older children through the Stanislaus Reads program.

Congratulations: you’ve just joined a book club.

The Stanislaus County Library is challenging the entire county to read the same books this spring and summer, in a celebration of literature and agriculture.

“Stanislaus Reads is an ongoing event this spring and summer to raise awareness about the importance of reading, and also about the importance of agriculture in Stanislaus County,” Turlock Librarian Carol Blomquist said. “Through Stanislaus Reads everyone is encouraged to read the same book or books and participate in family learning events at libraries this summer.”

Stanislaus Reads: Read, Eat, Celebrate offers three books, split by age group, which all address the common themes of agriculture and family.

Adults will have David Mas Masumoto’s “Wisdom of the Last Farmer” on their plate, a memoir of Masumoto’s farm stories of growing organic peaches and grapes in Fresno County following his father’s stroke. The book discusses the realities of farming life for the multiple award-winning author.

“Esperanza Rising,” by Pam Muñoz Ryan, awaits older children readers with a Mexican magical realism take on a wealthy 1930 Mexican girl’s immigration to California, subsequent loss of riches through a traumatic family event, and ultimate work in the agricultural industry. The novel won the Pura Belpre Medal, among other awards.

Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter’s “Apples to Oregon” offers a tall tale journey from Iowa to Oregon for the picture book crowd, using oil paintings to tell a pioneer story of an 1800s family of 10 trucking fruit trees by wagon.

Final details for the program, including Stanislaus Read event dates in Turlock, have yet to be worked out. But some events are already planned, including a discussion of “Wisdom of the Last Farmer” led by Supervisor Vito Chiesa at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 at the Hughson Family Resource Center.

“We hope that you’ll all join in this county reading experience,” Blomquist said.

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To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.