United We Read book to be Civil War novel set in Illinois

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Participants in the next local United We Read program will travel 143 years back in time and 34 miles north of Cape Girardeau to Civil War-era Grand Tower, Ill.

Organizer Julia Jorgensen announced Tuesday that the book "The River Between Us" by Newberry Award-winning author Richard Peck has been selected for the 2005 citywide reading program.

The book is a juvenile historical fiction set in Grand Tower about two young women who flee north from New Orleans in the first year of the Civil War and are taken in by the Pruitt family.

"Readers will find the locale familiar and the Civil War time frame compelling," said Jorgensen. "It's not the most difficult to read, but it's not a kiddie book either."

This is Cape Girardeau's fourth year to take part in United We Read, a national program that encourages people to read the same book at the same time and have discussions about it.

Jorgensen said an invitation has been extended to Peck to speak in Cape Girardeau in February. Discussions are being planned throughout that month at local libraries and businesses.

Jorgensen said choosing a new book for the program is always difficult.

"I get stopped on the street and asked about it," Jorgensen said. "I'm looking for a book that's appropriate for the entire city to read."

Jorgensen said local bookstores have been notified to allow for extra copies to be ordered.

cclark@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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