Tale continues to draw following in 3 rural counties

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
MEDINA – Laura McBride, author of “We Are Called To Rise,” led a book discussion about her novel tonight at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina.

McBride of Las Vegas wrote the 13th book to be featured as “A Tale for Three Counties,” a community reading project in Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

McBride led presentations on Thursday in Batavia at Genesee Community College and Richmond Memorial Library. She had lunch today with winners of a writing contest through The Daily News of Batavia.

She met with readers at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library for two hours today. On Saturday she will lead a discussion at 2 p.m. in Perry at the elementary-middle school auditorium.

Jan Albanese of Albion, left, gets her picture taken with Laura McBride.

“We Are Called To Rise” focuses on an immigrant boy whose family struggles to assimilate in Las Vegas. A woman wrestles with an imploding marriage and troubled son. A wounded soldier recovers from an injury.

The book was used in 18 classes at GCC.

The topics in the book – returning veterans and PTSD, domestic violence, refugee family adjustment, police brutality and child advocacy – may all sound grim, but McBride writes a story that is “remarkably tender, touching and ultimately optimistic and uplifting,” said Catherine Cooper, the director of the Medina library. She introduced McBride to about 75 people for tonight’s presentation.

McBride, a community college teacher, took a sabbatical to write the book. She wanted people to see beyond the stereotypes of Las Vegas as a gambling mecca and to see the shared humanity of people across different backgrounds and cultures.

She praised the “Tale” community for its hard work in organizing the reading initiative. Leslie DeLooze, a community services librarian at Richmond Memorial, is co-leader of the effort.

She said organizations, businesses and individual sponsors keep the program, which costs about $15,000, going strong. She was pleased to see the enthusiastic turnout so far for McBride. That includes about 125 people for each of her talks in Batavia, and then about 75 in Medina.

For more on the “Tale” program, click here.

About 75 people attended McBride’s discussion at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library tonight.