The Pikes Peak Library District wants everybody to find their voice this fall, and use it.
The 12th-annual All Pikes Peak Reads is a giant, city-wide book club of sorts, and invites and encourages folks to read the selected books, and then come together for conversation.
And every year with a theme.
This year's is "My Voice - Our Future," and for the first time, has chosen three books, which is more than previous years: "The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway; "China Boy" by Gus Lee; and "Sweeping Up Glass" by Carolyn D. Wall. The teen selection is "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, and the children's selection is "The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate.
"There's the opportunity to learn something about yourself in all three of them (the books)," said Dee Vazquez, PPLD community engagement and outreach officer, "and to look at people who do take full possession of their voice and their gift, and go out and do something. It's so powerful. Everyone has that capability. It's finding the correct way to do it."
The books are available in libraries now, although the program officially kicks off at the "What IF... Festival of Imagination and Innovation" on Sept. 7. Program activities begin in late September and run through December, and include visits from all three authors, community dialogues and a student and citizen journalism contest. A complete schedule of events will be available online at ppld.org/APPR this fall.
About 800 copies of each main selection were ordered, including large print, audio books, eBooks and foreign language versions, Vazquez said. The operating budget of APPR is about $56,000, and funds come from sponsorships and partnerships.
Vazquez hopes people find inspiration in the selections, and take that out into the community.
"Communities are about finding your voice and engaging it," Vazquez said, "and people taking back ownership of that ability to help make decisions and be engaged in what's going on in the community. It's so different here. We have such a transient community. We want systems and an organization for people to plug into when they come here and be involved."
Jennifer Mulson can be reached at 636-0270.