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The second annual “Read across the County” runs through August and features four books, covering all ages

The second annual “Read across the County” runs through August and features four books, covering all ages. The New Hanover County Library, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Friends of the Library have partnered together to present the summer long event. Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book was selected as the adult title. Mott is a North Carolina native and UNCW graduate. New Hanover County Public Library Director Paige Owens says the purpose of this reading initiative is to bring together people of different races and ages for a community-wide summer of reading. The other book titles are Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up, which is the young adult title, Jerry Craft’s New Kid, geared toward middle schoolers and Matt de la Pena’s Last Stop on Market Street, which is for younger children.

In addition to containing stories about diversity, Owens explains that each book also has an artistic element, “In Hell of a Book, it’s the story of an author. On The Come Up, the teen in the story loves to rap. In New Kid, the main character likes to draw comics. And then the picture book, the way it’s laid out, it’s a collage.”

Claire White is the Marketing and Technology Librarian for the New Hanover County Library. She says the four library branches in the county will offer many book-related events throughout the summer.

White says some of these include a collage contest, a session on how to create comics, blackout poetry, discussion panels and more. “So we’ve ordered additional copies to have in circulation, for people to check out from the library. But we’ve also ordered 100-200 copies of the young adult titles and, in the case of Hell of a Book, 400 copies so we distribute them to community partners and they can really help get them out to people out in the community who might not use the library.”

White says she hopes once people have the books, they will come to the library and participate in some of the events. A full calendar is available on the library’s website.

Cheril was born in Charleston, SC but has lived all over the US, including Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia and Nebraska. Her first broadcast opportunity was as a weather forecaster on the Far East Network (FEN) in Okinawa, Japan! Cheril admits she loves to talk and enjoys meeting people through her work and hearing their stories. Traveling, reading, going to concerts, laughing with friends and trying new restaurants, are a few of her favorite things. She also judges films for the Omaha Film Festival. Her next big trips will include a return visit to Ireland, a first time trip to Taiwan and New Zealand. Have an arts story idea? Email Cheril at clee@whqr.org