Fourth tale for three

Jan. 10, 2006

With the holidays dwindled down to a pile of bills and spring still only a distant hope, the time is right to escape into a good book. One like Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light.
A Northern Light is this year’s selection for A Tale for Three Counties reading and discussion program. The story, set in 1906, is based on an actual murder in the Adirondacks and concerns 16-year-old Matti Gokey who suspects that the drowning of Grace Brown was not an accident.
The book has been awarded the Carnegie Medal, L.A. Times Book Prize, Borders Original Voices Prize and Michael L. Printz Honor. It is one of three works , so far , of the Brooklyn author who, by the way, attended the University of Rochester.”As in years past, the book is available at modest cost from area libraries.
Also as in years past, readers are invited to public discussions of A Northern Light. The first is set for Feb. 9 at Corfu Free Library, with others scheduled throughout Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties, ending March 16 at Woodward Memorial Library in Le Roy. The schedule is accessible through the Web site, www.taleforthreecounties.org.
The program concludes with the special treat of a visit from the author. Ms. Donnelly will be speaking at four sessions March 23-25. Judging by the three previous Tales programs, she is in for a treat, herself , a whole host of excited new fans. Many who read previous selections have gone on to read other books by these authors, and look forward to new releases.
When A Tale for Three Counties was created three years ago, the librarians behind it were taking a risk. What if nobody came? What if nobody wanted to read the books or attend the discussions?” Of course, that is not what happened. Attendance was respectable the first year, and each year has grown so that if you want a good seat at the author’s visits, you’d better get there early.
Some organizational changes have been made this year which should help the program continue.”The group’s Web site is also useful; a discussion board is being set up where people can leave comments about the book, and perhaps stimulate early discussion. Publication of the book’s first chapter in The Daily News Saturday should also stimulate interest.
The behind-the-scenes work that goes into a successful program such as this can only be imagined. But we’re grateful committee members are willing to do it.”And now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got a new book to read and can’t wait to get to it.”

Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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