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About Reading Across Rhode Island

    Reading Across Rhode Island is a literacy project of the Rhode Island Center for the Book and the Providence Public Library; and affiliated with the Library of Congress. Similar “ One Book” projects have been launched across the United States and around the world – Rhode Island’s initiative began in 2003 with its inaugural read, Wish You Well by David Baldacci. Since then, Reading Across RI (RARI) has enjoyed mounting success with its discussions, activities and public events. In 2004, The Secret Life of Bees, brought over 650 readers together at the May Breakfast to hear the author, Sue Monk Kidd, speak about her novel and the fiction writing process. Last year’s project showed tremendous growth for RARI with twenty-six additional groups of readers participating from high schools, public and academic libraries, book groups, colleges and universities all over the state. The Kite Runner, a novel about life in Afghanistan, is a wonderful story of redemption that pulled in readers interested in a culture very much in the news. Evidence of the growth of the project were the “sellout” crowd at the May Breakfast, with over 800 people listening to Khaled Hosseini’s eloquent retelling of life events connecting to the novel, and the $6,330 raised from the public for Help the Afghan Children.

    The main goal of RARI is to shine a spotlight on literacy and to involve all Rhode Islanders in a community dialogue focusing on books and reading. RARI planners anticipate the 2006 selection will be even more successful in reaching that goal with participation of learning communities all over the state, especially as the project takes a turn this year with its first non-fiction title, Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson.

    The 2006 project will officially kick-off in January at a statewide literacy conference. The conference will offer all book discussion leaders the support and resources to bring Shadow Divers into their bookshops, classrooms, libraries and reading groups as a vehicle for discussion and community -wide events and activities from January through May. The project will culminate on May 6th with a traditional Rhode Island May Breakfast featuring the author as the guest speaker. Please check our website often for updates as this project gets underway: readingacrossri.org. For more information on the reading, writing, making and sharing of books in Rhode Island, go to the RI Center for the Book website: www.ribook.org.

Nominate a book for Reading Across RI 2007