Wilton Library's Selection for Wilton Reads 2024

From: Wilton Library Association
December 15, 2023

Wilton Library and Wilton School District Explore Meaning of Community, Voices of Cultural Identity, and Impacts of Colonialism for Wilton Reads 2024  

The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez is this year’s selection for community-wide reading program

Wilton, CT - Wilton Library is pleased to announce that The Great Divide has been chosen as the book selection for Wilton Reads 2024, the library’s annual community-wide reading program. The Great Divide by acclaimed author Cristina Henriquez is a fascinating historical novel about the building of the Panama Canal, one of the greatest engineering feats in history. It explores the interwoven stories of laborers, locals, activists, doctors, scientists, and others – unsung heroes from all walks of life who lived and worked alongside the massive project – and witnessed firsthand the human cost of progress as they fought to survive amid turmoil and disease. The Great Divide will be published in March 2024. The library will again collaborate with Wilton Public Schools to facilitate discussions and conversations throughout the community on all levels.

Caroline Mandler, Executive Director of Wilton Library, credited Lauren McLaughlin, Associate Director of Wilton Library, for the selection. “We believe that our entire community will benefit and learn from reading The Great Divide, which tells the story of this epic undertaking. The novel is a truly inspiring and challenging view into our collective history, and gives light to many diverse perspectives. Cristina Henriquez is a Free copies of The Great Divide will be given away this spring, courtesy of Fairfield County Bank. The book will be published in early March; multiple copies of multiple formats will be available to check out then.

For Wilton Reads 2024, a full slate of programs is being planned for this spring. The library will also provide educational resources for further exploration. Further details of the library’s Wilton Reads programming will be posted this spring on the library’s website at www.wiltonlibrary.org.  Wilton Public Schools’ programming details may be found by visiting the school district’s website at www.wiltonps.org.

This is the eighteenth season of Wilton Reads. The program originated in 2005 with a reading of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. A list of past Wilton Reads selections can be found at www.wiltonlibrary.org/wilton-reads-2024.

The media sponsor of Wilton Reads is GOOD Morning Wilton.

For more than 128 years, Wilton Library has served as the cultural and intellectual center of Wilton with the mission to inform, enrich, connect, and inspire our community. The library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. For more information, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org , call the library’s reference librarians at 203-762-6350 or email reference@wiltonlibrary.org.  gifted and exciting storyteller, and we are honored to welcome her to Wilton in May,” said Mandler.

Cristina Henriquez is the author of four books, including the bestselling The Book of Unknown Americans, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazon’s Top 10 Best Books of the Year. It was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Henriquez is also the author of The World In Half and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Real Simple, and more, as well as in the anthologies State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Women Writers Reflect on the Candidate and What Her Campaign Meant. She is a recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, a grant started by Sandra Cisneros in honor of her father. Henriquez earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Illinois.

“We believe that the library’s selection for Wilton Reads 2024 is rich with interesting topics that provide wonderful learning opportunities for the entire Wilton community,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, Superintendent of Wilton Public Schools. “Each year, the community reading program gives us an opportunity to engage in conversations with our students on many levels. This year, the selected book affords us an opportunity to focus on themes of unity, connectedness, and multiculturalism. By intertwining these themes with current events, we will continue to nurture our culture of empathy, kindness and inclusiveness among our students."

“We are looking forward to working with Wilton Library again for Wilton Reads. As with our previous collaborations, the school district will choose age-appropriate reading selections and create supplemental activities for the various schools,” said Fran Kompar, Director of Digital Learning who will lead this initiative for Wilton Public Schools.  

The Wilton Reads program will culminate with an author talk by Cristina Henriquez on Tuesday, May 7 at Wilton Library. During her talk, the author will be recognized with the Grodin Family Fine Writers award.  

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