Saratoga Reads Logo 2014-15

Year Eleven

The Round House
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Year 11 Junior Books

Mar. 13, 2015

Saratoga Reads announces March events
Capstone event to follow on May 2

Saratoga Reads is teaming up with local public libraries to present three events in March related to the Saratoga Reads book of choice for this year, The Round House by Louise Erdrich.

The events begin on Sunday, March 22, at 2 p.m. in the Saratoga Springs Public Library (49 Henry St.) when the Friends of the Library present storyteller and educator Kay Olan, a member of the Mohawk Nation. Olan will screen the 30-minute documentary Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum, followed by a discussion. The film depicts the 28-day paddling journey from the Onondaga Nation to the United Nations in New York City during the summer of 2013. The journey commemorated the 400-year-old Two Row Wampum Treaty made between the Dutch and Iroquois to establish peaceful coexistence.

On Wednesday, March 25, the Ballston Spa Public Library will offer a book discussion for adults on The Round House at 3 p.m. The library is located 21 Milton Avenue.

The March events wrap up on Saturday, March 28, at 11 a.m., when the Saratoga Springs Public Library offers a program titled “Fur Trappers and Bounty Hunters.” Using pelts, bones, and tracks, participants identify a variety of Adirondack mammals and develop an understanding of how humans and animals interact. The presenters examine hunting traditions and conservation laws through documents and first-person accounts. More...

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."


Book of Choice 2014-15
Round House Book Cover

Lego Festival a big hit

The Saratoga Reads Lego Festival, held Saturday, Feb. 7, drew a large, enthusiastic crowd to the Division Street Elementary School in Saratoga Springs. In addition to games and free-for-all Lego-building activities, the day included the third annual Saratoga Reads Lego competition, which challenged applicants to create an original Lego model inspired by a favorite book. More than 80 young people, some working with partners or family members, entered the competition.

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