Garfield County Libraries' Big Read features John Steinbeck's classic American novel, "The Grapes of Wrath." This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells an especially American tale about an Oklahoma family that takes to the road in an attempt to escape one of history's worst environmental disasters and times of economic hardships, and finds a hard life as migrant workers in California.
Throughout February, events will be offered on the novel, on the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, and on current-day parallels.
This communitywide reading program is designed to get Garfield County reading, thinking, and talking about the same book, and it all starts Friday.
The Garfield County Libraries is kicking off The Big Read at Carbondale's First Friday. Come see the Gordon Cooper Branch Library's staff and local high school students in the First Friday parade portraying the Joad family traveling down Route 66. After the parade, come meet the Joad family right outside the library at the Fourth Street Plaza on Main Street. Enjoy the bonfire, sing and dance to Slide Whistle, and enjoy hot drinks.
Also for The Big Read, Garfield County Libraries has teamed up with Walter Gallacher, producer of the Immigrant Stories Project, to interview Garfield County residents about their experiences living through the Great Depression. Interviews are aired on local radio stations, published in the Post Independent, and posted on Garfield County Libraries' Big Read site. To access these poignant oral histories, go to www.gcpld.org.
Throughout the month, Garfield County Libraries is hosting book discussions in English and Spanish, film screenings of "The Grapes of Wrath" and Ken Burns' newest documentary, "The Dust Bowl," homebrewing classes, swing dance lessons, exhibitions and more.
Finally, don't forget to check out your copy of "The Grapes of Wrath." Copies of the book are also available in Spanish or as books on CD and eBooks. And, you can always reserve a copy from your home or office by visiting www.gcpld.org.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information about The Big Read, please visit neabigread.org.