The Kite Runner Soars in Valley Towns

The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini has won the hearts and minds of Naugatuck Valley readers in the One Book – One Valley book selection process. Sixty- three readers in eight towns reviewed books for this lower Naugatuck Valley-wide project.  They chose this powerful and unforgettable book, because it contained many universal issues:  love, honor, allegiance, guilt, fear, courage, and suffering (just to name a few).

 “This is an epic tale that takes place in contemporary Afghanistan about the relationship of fathers and sons, loyalty and friendship, betrayal, and finally atonement.  However the story transcends cultural barriers, and engages and enlightens all who read it,” reports Elspeth Lydon, Director of the Plumb Memorial Library.

 The United Valley Libraries, a collaboration of the libraries in the Lower Naugatuck Valley, has launched its first annual One Book – One Valley Project to create a common cultural experience that will draw everyone participating in the communities together to discuss ideas important to them, thus enriching the lives of those who participate.  The eight collaborating libraries are:  Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Derby Neck, Oxford, Seymour, Plumb (Shelton), and the Huntington Branch (Shelton).  This project will begin this month and culminate in April 2005 during National Library Week.

 It is the citizens from the towns/cities of the Lower Naugatuck Valley that have chosen The Kite Runner.  After reading and evaluating seven books about people who have come through adverse life experiences and have triumphed, individuals voted for their favorite book at each library, and suggested ideas about programs and activities to celebrate the book.  The ballots were tallied regionally, so only one book was chosen for the entire Valley.  The chosen book will be ordered in paperback and distributed as widely as possible.  All programs will be free and open to the public.

Community organizations are invited to participate and should call the Library director at any one of the libraries for more information.  The libraries want to involve the Jaycees, Rotary, and other clubs; schools; senior centers; community centers and youth groups; Griffin Hospital; other non-profit organizations; and corporations (banks, supermarkets, discount stores, manufacturing companies, small businesses, etc.).  These organizations can participate in one or more of the following ways:  disseminate books, participate as readers, help plan and serve as sites for some of the programs and activities, and support the project with in-kind and/or monetary contributions.  So far our contributors are Naugatuck Savings Bank; Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan; Realty Executives – Country LLC; ShopRite, Thule, Inc; Valley Needs and Opportunities Project; and Wachovia Bank.

Each participating library is more than a repository of books and information; it is a community center where citizens can gather to discuss ideas through a shared reading experience.  For more information, call Judith Augusta at Derby Neck Library, (203) 734-1492.

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