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Take a break from the kids and read along with others in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Center for the Book at Providence Public Library announces the 2010 title in this year’s statewide read project.glppps

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

About This Year’s Book

Written with warmth and humor, the novel begins in 1946 beneath the hovering WWII cloud of departed German troops who had occupied the island of Guernsey, one of the UK Channel Islands. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society affirms the power of books and their ability to sustain people in difficult times. It transports us, as is the nature of good books, and carries us away, improbabilities and internal logic notwithstanding.  It also revives the lost art of letter writing, empowered by deeply human characters who literally leap out from the pages as they contrast a dark period in history with wit and wisdom, and in doing so, demonstrate the power of the human spirit.

Author Mary Ann Shaffer, a librarian and editor, nurtured the tale about Guernsey for 20 years before committing pen to paper. Sadly, Ms. Shaffer passed away in February, 2008 before the final edits to the manuscript were complete.  She asked her niece, Annie Barrows, to complete the revisions. Annie Barrows, author of the popular children’s series Ivy & Bean and The Magic Half, nominated for the 2010 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award, has agreed to come to Rhode Island for the project’s finale in May.

Reading Across RI Kick-Off Conference:

Teachers, librarians and book group leaders are invited to attend the RARI Kick-off Conference at Bryant University on Saturday, January 30, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Designed to give book group leaders an introduction to the novel and the resources and materials to develop an interesting discussion, conference attendees will meet workshop presenters ready to link the themes of the book to Rhode Island-based activities. Presenters include Dr. Judy Litoff, author of Since You Went Away, letters from the homefront during WWII;  Dr. Jim Brosnan, reflecting on the literary aspects of the novel and Mary Flynn, of Miriam Hospital, on Economical Eating. The cast of Living Literature, under the direction of Barry Press, will close the day with a Reader’s Theater adaption of the novel.

Reading Across Rhode Island is a project of the Rhode Island Center for the Book at Providence Public Library. The 2010 project is sponsored by Fidelity Investments, Dial Press/Random House, Reading with Robin, Newport Federal, RI Network for Educational Technology and Bryant University.

Further reading lists, book discussion guides, the author’s website, audio interviews and other supplementary material may be found on the RARI website: www.readingacrossri.org or by calling Louise Moulton at 455-8134.

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