By Amy Taylor
Sponsored by Prince William Public Library System
Reading a great book can transport you anywhere in the world — even out of this world. Reading a great book as a community can bring people together as we take a community “field trip” on the journey of experiencing the book together.
Prince William Public Libraries are bringing our community together as they partner with Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Schools and the Prince William County Public Schools to get people reading the same books at the same time through their inaugural event, Greater Prince William Reads.
“This year’s inaugural Greater Prince William Reads will continue as an annual event with a new theme every year. The idea behind Greater Prince William Reads is to encourage a larger audience to come together to read one book and have discussions and engagements surrounding the book and central theme,” said Rachel Johnson, communications services division chief for PWPLS.
The theme for this year’s event is “Amazing Space.” Young adult and adult readers can read the book Chasing Space by astronaut Leland Melvin. Younger readers can read a picture book introduction to astronaut Mae Jemison, Mae Among the Stars, by Roda Ahmed.
How to Participate
To participate in Greater Prince William Reads, first you’ll need to read the book or books. The books are available for checkout through the library system both as hard copy books and through online apps like OverDrive’s Libby app and Hoopla Digital.
There will be book discussions across the greater Prince William area for adults, young adults and upper elementary school students. For younger children, there will be special readings of Mae Among the Stars.
If you would like to hold your own discussions of Chasing Space, book club discussion questions created by county librarians are available online at pwcgov.org/library.
The schedule for discussions of Chasing Space is as follows:
Adult Book Discussion
- Central: Monday, March 18, 6:30 p. m.
- Bull Run: Monday, March 18, 7:00 p. m.
- Potomac: Monday, March 25, 1:00 p. m.
- Chinn Park: Tuesday, March 26, 6:00 p.m.
Young Readers’ Edition Discussion for Young Adults
- Chinn Park: Tuesday,March 12, 6:00 p. m.
- Central: Tuesday, March 12, 7:00 p. m.
- Potomac: Monday, March 18, 7:00 p. m.
- Montclair: Tuesday,March 19, 4:00 p. m.
- Haymarket Gainesville: Thursday, March 21, 6:00 p. m.
- Bull Run: Tuesday, March 26, 6:30 p. m.
TED Talk Viewing and Discussion
- Montclair: Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p. m. View Leland Melvin’s recorded TED Talk and discuss it with the group. Please note, this TED Talk does contain sensitive discussion concerning Melvin’s experience with childhood abuse.
If you’d like to participate in the discussion through social media, use #GPWreads in your posts.
Meet Author Leland Melvin
To bring the reading experience full circle, readers can meet Leland Melvin, astronaut, former NFL player and author of Chasing Space at 2:00 p. m. on April 6 at the Chinn Park Regional Library.
“Those who are interested in participating in book club discussions or want to learn more about Greater Prince William Reads: Amazing Space can visit pwcgov.org/library and click on ‘GPW Reads,’” said Johnson.