Saratoga Reads Logo 2014-15

Year Eleven


The Round House
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Vote! Year 11 Junior Books
News

April 27, 2015

Young readers to be focus of Saratoga Reads program, May 2
"Capstone" event for the year includes visit by noted author

Saratoga Reads will wrap up its 11th year of community programs on Saturday, May 2, with a series of activities designed to motivate and inspire young readers. The day, open to the public free of charge, will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.

The overarching theme of the event stems from the Saratoga Reads book of choice for the year, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, and related junior companion books selected to engage young readers. All of the Saratoga Reads books this year are centered on contemporary Native American life.

The day will feature music, a craft activity, a Native American re-enactor, and a visit from Cynthia Leitich Smith, a New York Times best-selling author known for her fiction for young readers. Smith, a tribal member of the Muscogee (Creek) nation, is the author of three of this year’s junior companion titles—Jingle Dancer (grades K–2), Indian Shoes (grades 2–3), and Rain Is Not My Indian Name (grades 6–8).

Smith will share highlights of her writing journey. She will explore the “story behind the story” of Jingle Dancer and offer a reader’s theater for Indian Shoes. This author’s event is appropriate for all ages.

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Apr. 1, 2015

Saratoga Reads announces top five books for public vote
Special event on April 21 will give inside look at top contenders
Book Covers

Saratoga Reads has announced that five books have been selected as finalists for the program’s book of choice for the coming year. All of the titles come from a list of works nominated by the public.

The winning title will be decided by public vote, with area residents having until May 15 to cast their ballots. The selected book will be announced in the fall.

Among the top five contenders are two novels, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. The other three books are narrative nonfiction—The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown; Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott; and Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo.

Voters are urged to read the descriptions of the books. Votes may be cast online here or at ballot boxes available at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, and Barnes & Noble in Wilton.

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Sept. 15, 2014

Saratoga Reads announces new book of choice and books for young readers
Selections center on Native American themes

The Round House by Louise Erdrich has been selected by public vote as this year’s book of choice for Saratoga Reads, a community-wide reading program now marking its 11th year.

Round House coverThe Round House, Erdrich's 14th novel and winner of the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, transports readers to a literary terrain that Erdrich has used in a number of her works–the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation, a place where contemporary Native Americans and their white neighbors navigate complex interrelationships.

The narrator of the book, Joe Coutts, is one of Erdrich's most memorable characters, a 13-year-old boy who hunts for the perpetrator of a violent crime that took place on the reservation. Though this story of family, friendship, and the search for justice stands on its own, it fits squarely in the writer’s overarching, interconnected literary vision.

The Round House is infused with Erdrich's trademark narrative excursions into a world of spirit and tradition still central to Native American cultures. Set in 1988 and driven by contemporary issues of tribal criminal jurisdiction, the book probes the life of marginalized Indians living on the reservation.

Wrote Ron Charles in the Washington Post, "Book by book, over the past three decades, Louise Erdrich has built one of the most moving and engrossing collections of novels in American literature. Few writers have done as much to help modern readers consider the position of Native Americans within a national culture that has denigrated, ignored, and romanticized them."

Maria Russo in the New York Times Book Review wrote, "The Round House represents something of a departure for Erdrich, whose past novels of Indian life have usually relied on a rotating cast of narrators, a kind of storytelling chorus. Here, though, Joe is the only narrator, and the urgency of his account gives the action the momentum and tight focus of a crime novel, which, in a sense, it is."

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Book of Choice 2014-15
Round House Book Cover


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