Published in 2009, The Help is the story of three Mississippi women who start a movement of their own while in the midst of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s.
The novel spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was the basis for an Academy Award-winning movie starring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone.
Admission to the event is free, but registration is requested. Participants may register online at www.forsythpl.org or visit the Ask Us Desk at any library branch.
“This year’s Forsyth Reads Together book selection is unique because it allows readers to imagine what it might be like to walk in someone else’s shoes in an important time in our country’s history,” says Laura Bradley, Program Manager. “Forsyth Reads Together includes opportunities for readers to discuss the novel and explore the very real issues faced by these fictional characters.”
Forsyth Reads Together goes beyond simply reading the book. Several other events related to the civil rights themes of The Help are also planned during the month-long program.
Genealogy is a popular topic of study among library patrons and one of the biggest challenges for African American genealogy researchers is finding formerly enslaved persons before the 1870 federal census, when former slaves were first recorded by name. Elyse Hill, an expert in genealogical research, will lead a workshop called “Breaking Through the 1870 Brick Wall” at the Sharon Forks Library on Saturday, September 12 at 11:00 a.m.
Book clubs for adults will be reading and discussing The Help during Forsyth Reads Together.
The Lit Chicks group at the Post Road Library will meet on Wednesday, August 12 at 10:15 a.m. The Hampton Park Library will host a special Forsyth Reads Together book discussion on Tuesday, September 8 at 2:00 p.m. The Literazzi group at the Sharon Forks Library will meet on Wednesday, September 9 at 2:00 p.m. The Coffee Talk book club at the Cumming Library will meet to discuss The Help on Thursday, September 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Three library branches will also offer screenings of the movie based on Stockett’s book. The Help will be shown at the Sharon Forks Library on Tuesday, September 8 at 5:00 p.m., at the Cumming Library on Sunday, September 13 at 2:00 p.m., and the Hampton Park Library on Monday, September 14 at 5:00 p.m.
“Forsyth Reads Together has customarily focused on books and events for adult audiences, but our audience of younger patrons has grown significantly in recent years and we’ve decided to expand the program in a way that includes young readers,” adds Bradley. “Civil rights is a prominent theme in The Help so we have decided to address this same theme with our younger audience by providing a youth component to Forsyth Reads Together.”
For the first time, the library has selected a Forsyth Reads Together title for tweens and teens. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson has won various awards, including the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, and the Coretta Scott King Award. In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, Woodson shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.
The Post Road Library will focus on Brown Girl Dreaming during their Wednesday Writer’s Workshop program on Wednesday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m. In this program, writers will be encouraged to share their own work as they draw inspiration from Brown Girl Dreaming.
Finally, the Bookmarks book club for teens in grades 7 through 12 will discuss Brown Girl Dreaming at the Cumming Library on Thursday, September 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Forsyth Reads Together is made possible by generous contributions from The Forsyth County Arts Alliance Fund at the North Georgia Community Foundation, Forsyth County Public Library Friends and Advocates, Literacy Forsyth, and BookLogix.
For more information, or to register for any of these Forsyth Reads Together events, please visit www.forsythpl.org.