Kendall starts community reading project

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Librarian Alicia Charland, second from left, leads a discussion of the book, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, during the first Kendall Reads event Thursday evening at Kendall Jr./Sr. High School. Refreshments were also part of the evening.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 25 March 2017 at 10:49 am

A book display at the Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Library featuring this year’s Kendall Reads book selection as well as the 2017 Rochester Reads book selection and books with related topics.

KENDALL – Many great things grow from small seeds, and that may also prove to be so for the Kendall Reads community reading program, which is just getting its start.

Community members gathered at the Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Library on Thursday evening to review the book chosen for the first-time event:  The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pearson.

Librarian Alicia Charland said she based the program on the Rochester Reads program in Monroe County, initiated by Writers & Books, a non-profit literary center.

The Kendall program has the same goal as the Rochester program: to encourage people to connect to others through literary reading and discussion and through the shared experience of literature.

This year’s Rochester Reads event includes local libraries, colleges and senior centers.

“This is just the beginning,” Charland told adult participants who gathered for the book discussion Thursday.

Kendall students were also welcomed to read the book and will have their discussion during school hours. Charland hopes Kendall Reads will truly become a multi-generational event.  She and participants discussed a number of questions regarding the book and how it affected them.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is set in the near future in America and explores bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity, including where to draw the line with fast developing technological medical advances.

The book’s main character, 17-year old Jenna, awakes from a coma with no memory of her former life.  She is told her name is Jenna Fox and her parents show her movies of her past, but Jenna questions if she is really the same girl she sees on the screen.

“I like books that raise ethical questions and that make me think,” Charland said.

She hopes the annual program will grow each year.

“It’s all about getting people together and talking about the same book,” she said.

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