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Thursday, August 8, 2013

ARRT Takes Over the Blog: Magan Szwarek on Fox Valley Reads 2013


Take a Journey Into the Beautiful North...


I’d like to invite you to join Fox Valley Reads this October as we read Luis Alberto Urrea’s  touching, often hilarious, Into the Beautiful North. Fox Valley Reads is a community read partnership among six libraries in the Fox Valley region of the western Chicago suburbs whose mission is to “promote reading and open discussions among community members around the topics and ideas presented in a single title.”


Probably best known for 2004’s The Devil’s Highway, which won a Lannan Literary Award and was a Pulitzer prize nonfiction finalist, Urrea (pronounced oo-RAY-uh) is professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago who lives with his family in Naperville, IL. Into the Beautiful North is the story of 19-year-old Nayeli’s journey from her hometown of Tres Camarones, on the southern coast of Mexico to the U.S.  Inspired by the movie, Nayeli, along three of her friends, sets out on a quest over the border to recruit her own “Magnificent Seven” and smuggle them back into Mexico to defend her home from being taken over by a group of drug lords. Irreverent and serious, full of vivid characters and lush descriptions, Into the Beautiful North is a charming coming of age story that challenges readers’ preconceived notions of immigration both in the United States and in Mexico.

Last fall Becky conducted a fantastic interview with Erin Morgenstern, author of the 2012 FVR pick, The Night Circus. I am delighted that she has agreed to come back this year and interview Prof. Urrea in downtown Aurora, IL beautiful Copley Theatre on October 24. Becky’s will be the second in a pair of interviews, the first of which will be conducted in Spanish by Aurora area author and entrepreneur Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz on Wednesday, October 23. These events stand out from the traditional author reading, followed by a signing, because they are so intimate and interactive. Audience members are witness to a real conversation between an author and a lover of good writing.  A lot of time is afforded to audience questions...and they will be followed by a signing (of course).  

The group of librarians I work with on Fox Valley Reads are excited not only to bring the public a series of author interviews, but have a month of unique programs related to the novel for all ages as well as book discussions. For a complete list of events and discussions check out the FVR website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Magan is a Readers’ Advisory Librarian for the Aurora Public Library. She also reviews reference for Booklist and is a member of the ARRT Steering Committee.

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