Santa Monica Lookout
Celebrate 11th Annual Santa Monica Reads Program
By Lookout Staff
January 25, 2013 -- The Public Library is gearing up to celebrate the 11th annual Santa Monica Reads, a month-long reading program meant to encourage residents to explore books and films around a particular theme.
This year's featured by is R.J. Palacio's Wonder, a “novel that follows a year in the life of ten-year-old August 'Auggie' Pullman, a normal boy in every way except for a craniofacial disorder that has kept him away from most children his age,” library officials said.
The book is about Auggie's transition from being home-schooled into mainstream public schools and the impact this has on his life and on the lives of those around him.
“Embracing a message of kindness and compassion, Wonder reminds us all not to judge a book, or a boy, by its cover,” staff said.
Over the course of Santa Monica Reads, which starts on February 16 and runs through March 23, the City will offer programming and discussions related to the the book's theme.
On February 19, at the MLK Jr. Auditorium at the Main Library, there will be a discussion with UCLA Psychology Professor Jaana Juvonen about the power of bullying. The discussion starts at 7 p.m.
Author and Iraq war vet J.R. Martinez will discuss his autobiography Full of Heart at the MLK Jr. Auditorium on February 20 at 7 p.m.
“J.R. Martinez embodies everything this year's Santa Monica Reads is all about,” staff said. “Wounded and burned by a bomb blast while serving in Iraq, J.R. Martinez dug deep and found the spirit and determination to succeed and thrive against the odds.”
Over the course of the month, there will be screenings of films related to this year's theme including David Lynch's The Elephant Man and The Mask, starring Cher and Sam Elliot.
For a complete schedule of this year's events visit, http://smpl.org/Wonder2013.aspx
The City will also host 11 public book discussions -- including one in Spanish -- throughout the month so residents can meet and talk about Wonder.
A list of discussion questions to guide residents' reading can be found here (http://smpl.org/uploadedFiles/Library/Programs_and_Events/Citywide_Reads/WONDER.pdf).
Santa Monica Reads culminates with an afternoon with the author of Wonder on March 23 at the Lincoln Middle School Auditorium starting at 2 p.m.
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