Parsons Public Library announces a three-part book discussion series scheduled for February through April on the theme “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”
Orphans have populated literature for centuries, from Little Goody Two-Shoes to Oliver Twist to Jane Eyre to Little Orphan Annie to Tom Sawyer to Harry Potter. Though often found out of place and home in real life, orphans held a special place and function in literature, especially in 19th century novels. These parentless children revealed a bleak social history as they negotiated street and world and found their way into story.
The first discussion, scheduled for Monday, February 24, at 6:30 p.m., is on Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline. When foster-teen Molly Ayer steals a copy of Jane Eyre from the library, she is assigned community service with the elderly Vivian Daly. As the troubled foster-care juvenile helps 91-year-old Vivian clean out the tucked-away trunks in her attic, Molly learns that Vivian/Dorothy/Niamh is an Orphan train survivor. An unexpected relationship develops between the two; together, they find answers about their separate pasts.
The discussion leader will be Sister Rosemary Kolich. Sister Rosemary Kolich teaches English for the University of Saint Mary at both the main campus in Leavenworth and the Overland Park campus. Kolich joined the TALK program in 2008.
Copies of the book are available now for check-out today.
The series continues with discussions on The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty (March 23), and The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman (April 27). All book discussions will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the library.
The series is sponsored by the Humanities Kansas (HK), a nonprofit cultural organization, as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program. HK is furnishing the books and discussion leaders for the Parsons TALK series. For more information about HK, visit www.humanitieskansas.org.
Members of the community are invited to attend the free programs, which will take place at the library, 311 South 17th St. To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact the library at 620-421-5920.