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Posted on: June 1, 2023

Third annual “Read across the County” centers on music as universal language

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The connectivity, power and inclusivity of music for all is the central theme for books selected as part of the third annual “Read across the County” initiative.

The yearly program from the New Hanover County Public Library, Office of Diversity and Equity, and Friends of the Library features four titles selected for specific age groups that, this year, highlight music as a tool to bring people of different backgrounds and abilities together.

Written by Southeastern North Carolina native Brendan Slocumb, “The Violin Conspiracy” is the adult title for the summer reading program. The works featured for younger readers are Melissa See’s “You, Me, and Our Heartstrings” (young adult), Karina Yan Glaser’s “A Duet for Home” (middle grade), and Shannon Stocker’s “Listen” (picture book/younger children).

“Each year, we try to find a group of books that focus on a cohesive theme throughout, and this year’s collection is no different as we continue to celebrate diversity and focus on the connections we all share,” said Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson. “Music is truly something everyone can relate to, and these books do an amazing job of telling that story. It’s a message we feel can reverberate for readers of all ages.”

Created in 2021, “Read across the County” uses books to bring people of different races and ages together for a community-wide summer of reading. Events designed around the selected titles officially kick off June 1 and run through August.

This year, events include a class with the Brooklyn Arts Music Academy teaching the fundamentals of violin playing, a concert with violinist Adam Crane, an American Sign Language (ASL) Storytime with Daisy Wooten and members of the Wilmington Symphony, and much more. A full calendar can be found here.

The summer-long program will conclude on Saturday, August 26 with a visit from Slocumb for a discussion about his work and the underlying themes. The author visit will be held at the Northeast Library (1241 Military Cutoff Road) from 2:30-4 p.m. with registration opening in July.

“Meeting and talking with the author has been something our residents have really enjoyed as part of ‘Read across the County,’ and we’re excited to provide that opportunity again this year,” said New Hanover County Library Director Dana Conners. “We’re also excited to provide our younger readers with opportunities for engagement throughout the summer and hope many in our community will visit their nearest library branch to join the conversation.”

All titles can be borrowed from the New Hanover County Public Library and additional copies are being distributed throughout the county with help from community partners. All four “Read across the County” titles can also be placed on hold through Libby.

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