Reading Together

When we read together, we grow together.
Read and discuss Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train with people from all walks of life.

Reading Together Events »

Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
Open Hours, Friends Bookstore, Central Library (lower level)

Foster a Love of Reading

In Orphan Train, Molly's desire to own a book is at the heart of how she and Vivian meet. To tie in with the significance of owning a book, Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library has partnered with Family and Children's Services to provide free books for foster children in Kalamazoo County.

You can help! Visit the Friend's Bookstore at Central Library, buy a book for a child up to age 18 (most books are 50¢ to $1), and leave it in the donation bin at check-out. Books will be distributed to children in need by Family and Children's Services. Thank you for your support!


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Reading Together Blog


Beyond Reading Together

Community read programs are so much more than the experience of one book. There is definite worth in everyone sharing a single story, a unifying journey through the pages and plot and dramatic lives of characters. There is an instant connection between strangers when they see the book poking out from a bag, or the Reading Together button on their coat.

When reflecting back on this year's program, my favorite moments came from the events where I gathered with our community to discuss Orphan Train and hear the perspectives and insights of others. Getting lost in a great story that entertains and enlightens is why we love reading, but it's still a rather solitary act. Sitting with hundreds in an auditorium listening to Christina Baker Kline speak, one could feel the excitement and eagerness to discuss this story and the history behind it.

Kline told stories about people that are usually not written about in the history books--children, women, the poor, the orphaned. This is one reason why the committee felt it was so important to have events where these usually untold stories could be recorded and shared. In Gail Griffin's "Writing from the Threshold" workshop, our small group of participants were able to write about turning point moments in their lives and share. The KPL-produced documentary, Found Family, gave us unique and intimate views of three local families. “Preserving Your Family History” showed us the tools needed to coax out and record for posterity those stories that need to be shared. These are the stories that make a community, and to know them makes us stronger.

~ Marianne Swierenga, Reading Together Steering Committee 
Waldo Library - Western Michigan University


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Sep 15, 2015
Kalamazoo Public LibraryKalamazoo Public Library
selects 'Orphan Train' for Reading Together 2016