"Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea is this year's "One Book One Valley" Community read. Readers up and down the valley are encouraged to get "caught reading" this title. This project is being sponsored by Eagle Valley Library District, Vail Public Library, Colorado Mountain College, and the Bookworm of Edwards.
The Eagle Valley County Wide Read program project officially kicked off with a mayor's proclamation in January, and a public reading of the first chapter at the Bookworm of Edwards. Adult readers are encouraged to add this novel by Luis Alberto Urrea to their winter reading list. This title is available for purchase or checkout in both English and Spanish.
This book was chosen for its wide appeal and literary merit. I personally enjoyed this story with its colorful characters. Here's my blog of the book:
Nayeli is a 19-year-old girl working in a taco shop in Tres Camarones, a small village in Mexico. Very few men live in her community, since most of them left to find work in the United States. Nayeli's dad is one of the men who left three years ago. Because of this, the village has become vulnerable to threat by a nearby drug cartel.
Nayeli is inspired by the classic movie, "The Magnificent Seven," and decides that she will travel north into the U.S. and recruit seven strong men to come back with her and protect and repopulate the village. She hopes to find her father and bring him back, as well.
With the encouragement of her Aunt Irma (who is the local municipal president), Nayeli makes the journey with her two best friends and Tacho, who is her taco shop employer and flamboyantly gay friend. The group faces challenges of making a safe journey by bus through Mexico, as well as crossing the border as illegal immigrants. They make several friends and foes along the way.
This is a delightful read with colorful characters, travel adventures, and both sadness and humor.
To recognize this title and the community project, several related events are under way. Eagle, Avon and Vail public libraries will have film screenings of "The Magnificent Seven" on various dates in March and April.
All three Eagle Valley Library District libraries (Eagle, Gypsum and Avon) and the Vail Library will be hosting book club discussion groups. Eagle will offer a book club in Spanish as well.
A finale event is also being planned and details will soon follow. For more information about film screenings or book clubs, contact your nearest library. You may also visit www.coloradomtn.edu/onebook.
One book/one community programs have been popular with public libraries across the country in recent years. These programs take the idea of a book group and expand it to cover a community at large. Titles are chosen that are appealing and significant to a particular community. Last year was the inaugural year for the countywide read program, and hundreds of readers throughout the valley bought or checked out "Doc" by Mary Doria Russell.