Local author featured in Let's Read campaign

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WINDHAM COUNTY — The Wellness Committee of WSESU is launching Let's Read 2019, a community reading initiative, during the summer and fall of 2019. All members of the communities of Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, and Vernon between the ages of 9 and 109 are encouraged to participate. Let's Read 2019 will feature "The Benefits of Being an Octopus" by local author Ann Braden.

This book is appropriate for children in fourth grade and up, as well as adults. Several events including author talks, staged readings, and book club discussion groups will be held in September and October at local libraries, the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club, and area schools.

Set in a fictionalized version of Brattleboro, "The Benefits of Being an

Octopus," published in the fall of 2018, is the story of a young girl finding her courage and voice in the face of poverty, bullying, and a challenging home life. "The Benefits of Being an Octopus" has been attracting significant attention, both regionally and nationally. According to the School Library Journal, "This heartbreaking, beautifully written book about finding one's voice will offer some readers a relatable reflection and others a window that can help build empathy and understanding."

"The Benefits of Being an Octopus" is an NPR Best Book of the Year for 2018, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2019 Global Read Aloud Contender, a 2019-2020 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Nominee, and included on Bank Street Best Children's Books of 2019.

Signed copies of books are available to be borrowed and returned at the school libraries in all schools in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union and at Brooks Memorial Library, Guilford Free Library, Lydia Taft Pratt Library, Putney Public Library, Vernon Free Library, and the Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro.

Let's Read 2019 is made possible thanks to support from the Vermont Humanities Council, the Windham Foundation, and the Brooks Memorial Library, and is sponsored by WSESU, Food Connects, and Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition. For more information, contact Sheila Humphreys, sheila@foodconnects.org or 802-451-0806.

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