Manchester District Library has a Book Discussion on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Some people have been faithfully attending discussions for years, others drop in on occasion. Even if you only come to one meeting because the book is something you need to share with others, all are welcome to participate.
A year’s worth of books is chosen each summer by meeting attendees with some input from Library staff. The annual selection process is most certainly a collaborative effort and everyone’s opinion matters. The Library then ensures multiple copies of each book are available for interested patrons to borrow.
Among the titles every year are both new and familiar books and authors that participants may not have chosen on their own. In a dual effort to connect with young people and introduce them to book group activity, a Young Adult novel has been chosen the past two years. This year’s YA novel was suggested by Manchester High School student Amelia Herron.
The November choice, Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett is an intriguing mystery. Sixth-grade sleuths solve an art theft and learn about Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer along the way. Readers who enjoy The Da Vinci Code, E. L. Konigsburg, and Agatha Christie, will feel at home with this YA novel. The main characters are new friends Petra and Calder who piece together seemingly disconnected events to locate Vermeer’s painting The Lady Writing.
Students are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting of the Book Group for their own experience and because the adults who are reading truly want to hear the opinions of younger readers. In unexpected ways, sharing a book allows readers to see what they perhaps missed, consider elements of a story differently, and learn something because each of us comes to a book with unique knowledge. Sharing leads to amazing discussions.
If you know a young person who may like to participate, please encourage him or her to read this month’s choice, and read the book along with your young person. The book discussion will take place in the Village Room on Monday, November 24, at 7 pm. (Note that because of Thanksgiving, this is not the typical meeting time.). Light refreshments will be served.
For a complete list for MDL’s 2014-2015 choices, visit the Book Group page on Goodreads.com.