‘Tale’ book choice inspires other reading groups

By Megan Pierson, Daily News Intern
March 25, 2006

Positive things can come out of just reading a book. A Le Roy book group would agree to that.
Group members kept seeing connections between the books they were reading every month and their own community. After reading A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, the group decided to raise money for those less fortunate.
” You begin to realize how lucky we are,” said member Trixie Wadhams. “Maybe we should be doing more.”
The group created the “cup of caring.” When they meet the second Thursday of every month, the cup is placed in the middle of the table and members can donate whatever they can.
The group has read many books that deal with social issues, but were touched by one family’s struggle with poverty in A Northern Light, this year’s selection for the ‘A Tale for Three Counties’ community reading project.
” Even now those things exist that no one wants to talk about,” Wadhams said.
Wadhams recently presented Wolcott Elementary School in Le Roy with $55 on behalf of the group. The money will be used in the fall to buy supplies for students.
When another $50 is collected that will be donated to another local cause.
” You’ll find by reading these books, it’s the little things people do,” she said.
Wadhams said it’s fun when a group meets for one reason and something positive comes out of it. To her, this is a fun, easy way for groups to help out and hopes others will decide to donate.
” I think there’s a tremendous need out there, it’s just hidden,” she said.

Other book groups that meet independent of local libraries also picked up A Northern Light. The book, which features a teen-age female protagonist, became popular in local schools among faculty and staff.
The Library Club at Oakfield-Alabama High School read the book with librarian Renee Burns. Student Jenna Licata said she thought the book was very good and was surprised at the ending.
In addition to discussing the book, members of these independent reading groups also attended discussions that were part of the ‘Tale’ project, and many planned to attend this week’s author’s visits, which conclude with a program at 2 p.m. today in the auditorium at Perry Elementary/Middle School, 50 Olin Ave., Perry.
Linda Camilio has participated in ‘Tale discussions in the past and suggested to her Byron-Bergen book group that they read A Northern Light this year.
” I loved the way she introduced each chapter with a word of the day,” Camillo said.
In their discussions, the group created their own word of the day and discussed what it would be like for a woman living in 1906. The group also debated the fate of the characters after the book ends.
” Most folks liked it,” said Camilio. “Most would like to see a sequel.”
Final Author Visit: Jennifer Donnelly makes her final presentation for this year’s ‘Tale for Three Counties’ at 2 p.m. today in the auditorium at Perry Elementary/Middle School, 50 Olin Ave., Perry. She will discuss A Northern Light, her writing career and sign her books.

Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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