FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2010

CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302

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Author Katherine Paterson to Appear in Barre and Lyndon Center

* Vermont Reads 2010: Vermont’s Statewide, One-book Community Reading Program *
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Montpelier, VT ~ Vermont children’s book author Katherine Paterson, whose new book The Day of the Pelican was published in October, will continue her visits to Vermont communities in May as part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s Vermont Reads 2010 program.

At the Barre Vermont Reads event, Saturday, May 15, Paterson will deliver a talk and answer questions at the Aldrich Public Library in Barre. The event runs from 1:00–4:00 p.m. and will include an author book signing, dramatic readings, a discussion group for children led by Vermont State Libraries Youth Services Consultant Grace Greene, a book discussion led by Lyndon State professor Frank Green, music by the Bosnian Lillies, and refreshments,. Senator Patrick Leahy will be on hand to make remarks.

On Sunday, May 16, a second event will take place in Lyndon Center at the Lyndon Town House from 2:00–4:00 p.m., where the Balkan Children’s Chorus will perform before and after an address by the author. The event will also include a book discussion led by professor Frank Green and an author book signing and reception.

The May events make up the second round of Patterson’s visits for Vermont Reads 2010. In March she made appearances at Riverside Middle School in Springfield and at Southern Vermont College. Further events are planned for the fall.

“It’s a real privilege to travel the state with Katherine Paterson and see the reception she enjoys from Vermonters of all ages,” said Vermont Reads Director Mark Fitzsimmons. “She energizes so many people who have found her books at important intervals in their lives.”

Paterson, who was recently named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, has long been revered as one of Vermont’s preeminent authors. She has written more than thirty books for children. Her novels often deal with difficult themes such as jealousy or death; her prose helps young and old readers alike deal with these issues with strength and perseverance.

The Day of the Pelican, Paterson’s latest book, recounts the journey of a Muslim family fleeing ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and landing in Vermont. The family’s courage is tested by hunger, illness, and a long, dangerous journey that eventually takes them to America. Paterson’s sensitive, powerful story conveys a sense of the experiences of many of our newest Vermonters. The book is the latest pick for Vermont Reads, VHC’s statewide one-book community reading program that began in 2003.

The spring deadline for Vermont Reads 2010 is May 14. Communities around the state will have the opportunity to bring people together to read, discuss, and build activities around the book. Vermont Reads promotes community-building, open dialogue, intergenerational exchange, a focus on the humanities, and literacy. In 2010, readers will have the chance to explore and consider the plight of refugees and the experience of immigrants in America. Applications are online at vermontreads.org.

“We select books that we feel will resonate with readers of all levels and with people from diverse backgrounds,” said Fitzsimmons. “Vermont Reads books connect to Vermonters in fundamental, humanistic ways, and help connect Vermonters to each other through shared discussion and community-based activities that grow out of the book.”

NRG Systems of Hinesburg is the underwriter the 2010 Vermont Reads program; it also underwrote the program in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The media sponsor and partner is Vermont Public Radio. VPR will air features on The Day of the Pelican later this year.

In the last three years, more than sixty towns and cities—and tens of thousands of people—have taken part in Vermont Reads.

For more information on Katherine Paterson’s appearance at Aldrich Public Library on May 15, contact Karen Lane at 802.476.7550. For her May 16 event in Lyndon Center, contact Cindy Karasinski at 802.626.5475.

For general information on Vermont Reads 2010 or to involve your community, visit www.vermonthumanities.org or contact Jessica Santucci at [log in to unmask] or call 802.262.2626 x 304.

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council envisions a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.

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