Kalamazoo Public Library Presents the 2016 Reading Together Program

Feb 18, 2016 05:25:00 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo Public Library is proud to present 2016 Reading Together, featuring the novel Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

Meet the Author: Christina Baker Kline
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Story of the Orphan Trains and the Making of the Novel
Monday, March 7, 7 pm
Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium 2432 N. Drake Road

About Orphan Train:
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping the elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly help Vivian sort through her keepsakes, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

About the Author
Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Orphan TrainHer other novels include Bird in HandThe Way Life Should Be,Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She is currently at work on a novel based on the iconic painting Christina's World, by Andrew Wyeth.

In addition to her five novels, Kline has written and edited five nonfiction books. She commissioned and edited two widely praised collections or original essays on the first year of parenthood and raising young children, Child of Mine and Room to Grow, and a book on grieving, Always Too Soon. She is the coeditor, with Anne Burt, of a collection of personal essays called About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror, and is co-author, with her mother, Christina Looper Baker, of a book on feminist mothers and daughters, The Conversation Begins. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Timesthe San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More, Psychology Today, among other places.

About Reading Together
One Book, One Community

The purpose of Reading Together is to build a stronger community with deeper connections through the common experience of reading the same book and exploring its themes together. When we do that, we engage and learn, not only about ourselves, but more importantly about each other and the world around us.

By experiencing the same book, hearing the author of that work speak right here in Kalamazoo, and delving deeper into the books’ themes, we are able to embrace our similarities and differences from a common point of reference.

Very simply, when we read together, we grow together.

2016 Reading Together Events

  • Meet the Author: Christina Baker Kline
    March 7, 7:00 PM
    Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Orphan Train, about a young Irish immigrant who, as a child, is sent away from New York on a train that regularly transported unwanted and abandoned children from the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience. Her previous novels include Bird in HandThe Way Life Should BeDesire Lines and Sweet Water.
    Kalamazoo Central High School – Auditorium
  • Orphan Trains in Michigan
    March 10, 7:00 PM
    Did you know 12,500 orphans from New York City and the Boston area were placed in Michigan from 1854 to 1927? Al and David Eicher, research historians and television producers, spent a year and a half researching and gathering photographs about the Orphan Train Riders in Michigan. They have produced a lecture and a video documentary about this event in Michigan’s history, depicting in great detail the selection process and being an Orphan Train Rider.
    Central Library - Van Deusen Room
  • Grown-Up Show and Tell
    March 12, 1:00 PM
    Remember when you brought a prized possession to school for Show & Tell? Why let children have all the fun? Our Show & Tell event is an opportunity to bring in an old photograph, a family memento or other personal artifact and tell a short story about it. Denise McCaffrey of Memories to Memoirs will moderate, and everyone, young or old, is welcome to become part of the conversation. Participants don’t have to show and tell—they can simply look and listen if they prefer. It’s free, fun and the stories will warm the heart.
    Portage District Library - Lower Level Meeting Rooms
  • What Defines Family?
    March 15, 7:00 PM
    Attend the premier screening of a KPL-produced documentary featuring local residents with particularly interesting family backgrounds, and learn what family means to them. Followed by Q&A with the participants.
    Eastwood Branch - Community Room
  • The History of Families
    March 17, 7:00 PM
    How have families and the way they function in society changed over the years? How does the role children play in present day families compare with that of children being raised during the time of the orphan trains? What information such as style of clothing, popular toys, medical practices and educational approaches teach us about what life was like for both children and families? How does family life at that point in history compare with families’ lives today? Presenter: Andrea Smith, PhD, Western Michigan University
    Central Library - Van Deusen Room
  • Writing from the Threshold: A Workshop in Generating Memoir
    March 19, 1:00 PM
    The threshold is a location charged with energy and potential—a place “in between.” This workshop will ask participants to think about thresholds in their lives—places where they stood in a doorway, on the verge of something new.  We will use structured prompts to generate thinking and writing about the personal past. No experience is necessary.  Also offered April 2.
    Oshtemo Branch - Community Room
  • Foster Care Part I — Systems
    March 21, 7:00 PM
    Members of the SWM Partners group, representing several different foster care service providers in Kalamazoo County, will host a panel presentation covering local data, the legal process, family placement, and child welfare concerns.

    The SW MI Partners group is made up of public-private sector child welfare leaders in Kalamazoo County representing Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MIDHHS), Kalamazoo County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS), Kalamazoo County Courts, and Private Agency partners Bethany Christian Services, Family & Children Services, and Lutheran Social Services of MI. These organizations have committed both individually and collaboratively to work toward the goal of improving the systems that provide safety, well being, and permanency for children who have come to the attention of the MIDHHS foster care system. Their primary focus is keeping the needs of the child at the center of systems designs and delivery, integrating best practices and strengthening families.
    Central Library - Van Deusen Room
  • Foster Care Part II — Stories
    March 24, 7:00 PM
    What influences families to take in foster children? What are the challenges faced by young people who have lived in foster care when they transition to college? Hear some personal stories that answer these questions and others regarding the foster care experience today.
    Central Library - Van Deusen Room
  • Family Celebration
    March 29, 4:30 PM
    Orphan Train celebrates the meaning of “family”— the one we’re born with as well as the ones we choose for ourselves. Let’s celebrate family together. Create an art project and take a FREE family photo with a professional photographer. Hosted by the Youth Services department.
    Washington Square Branch - Community Room
  • Preserving Family History
    March 29, 7:00 PM
    This presentation will highlight the importance of doing oral histories, including suggestions and examples of how to proceed.
    Ladies Library – Auditorium
  • The Resilience Project
    March 30, 7:00 PM
    The Resilience Project is a collaboration between The Kalamazoo Promise, Seita Scholars Program, and Friendship Village. The purpose is to connect students with senior citizens to reflect upon their lived experience to extract examples of resilience. Many of the seniors are retired educators, doctors, and other professionals. Their stories mirror those of our students in that they are amazing examples of how to face the challenges of life and come through stronger, better, faster, conquerors.
    Friendship Village – Kiva
  • Writing from the Threshold: A Workshop in Generating Memoir
    April 2, 1:00 PM (was also offered on March 19)
    The threshold is a location charged with energy and potential—a place “in between.” This workshop will ask participants to think about thresholds in their lives—places where they stood in a doorway, on the verge of something new.  We will use structured prompts to generate thinking and writing about the personal past. No experience is necessary. 
     Central Library - Van Deusen Room


For more information, visit www.readingtogether.us

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