Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Discussion Series on Great Children’s Literature

North Regional Library Branch hosts “Let’s Talk About It” book discussions

North Regional Branch (855 McArthur Road) is hosting a five-part series book discussion led by local scholars on the topic of great children’s literature. Let’s Talk About It: Children’s literature broadens horizons, introduces new ideas and helps us deal with complex issues. The lessons of children’s literature are not always obvious, not as simple as a straightforward moral at the end of the story. Yet the timeless classics of children’s literature always have something to teach, no matter the age of the reader. Local scholars will share their insights and lead discussions on our common literary heritage.

All programs are held at North Regional Branch and registration is required and can be completed online, by telephone or in person at any branch. If you’d like to borrow a copy of the book from the library, ask when you register or visit the library’s online catalog to place a hold. For more information, call 483-7727.

Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion Leader: Alice Osborn

The Classic Fairy Tales by Iona & Peter Opie
This husband-and-wife team of folklorists spent years gathering together the earliest English-language editions of twenty-four of some of the most popular fairytales, ranging from “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to “Sleeping Beauty.” They are presented here with short histories detailing how the stories have changed over time. 

Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion Leader: Anne Baker

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This spirited and timeless story tells of four sisters growing up together while their father is off fighting in the Civil War. Together, they must love, learn, and grow in this classic childhood masterpiece. 

Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion Leader: Julie Cartner

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mary Lennox is an arrogant, unpleasant girl growing up in India until a cholera outbreak has her sent to England to the home of an odd recluse with many secrets. When she discovers some of those secrets, including a hidden, walled garden, Mary learns and grows in this iconic book redolent with rich descriptions of natural beauty. 

Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion Leader: Louise Taylor

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
This sweet, charming story tells of Wilbur the Pig, the spider Charlotte, Templeton Rat and the plot that they hatch to save Wilbur from slaughter. It is a timeless story of love, loyalty and friendship. 

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
On the surface, Jesse Aaron and Leslie Burke have little in common.  Despite their differences, the two of them become friends and imagine an elaborate fantasy world hidden in the woods in this deft portrayal of childhood friendship, imagination and loyalty. 

Tuesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion Leader: Michelle Manning

Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
Inspired by a true story, Yep tells of a young Chinese immigrant, Moon Shadow, who is struggling to make his way in turn-of-the-century California while helping his father fulfill his dream of building an airplane. Together, they must face mockery, poverty, homesickness and racism as they work to fulfill their dreams in this richly detailed historical novel about the immigrant experience. 

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lowry’s stark dystopian masterpiece tells of twelve-year-old Jonas, who is a model citizen until he is chosen to become his community’s Receiver of Memory. In his new role, Jonas learns just how much they have given up for peace and security in this haunting tale of choice, freedom and sacrifice. 

Discussion Leaders
Alice Osborn
Osborn’s past educational (MA in English, NCSU and BS in Finance, VA Tech) and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as a poet-singer/songwriter, editor and popular writing coach. She founded Wonderland Book Club eight years ago. In the past decade, Alice has taught writing workshops to thousands of aspiring fiction and memoir authors from ages 9 to 90 both around the corner and across continents. Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry. Previous collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects. Alice is also the editor of the anthologies Tattoos and Creatures of Habitat.

Anne Baker
Baker specializes in American literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth century. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and has taught at North Carolina State University since 2001. She is the author of Heartless Immensity: Literature, Culture, and Geography in Antebellum America. In this interdisciplinary study of geography and antebellum American literature, she examines schoolbooks, popular visual art and political speeches as well as literary works by Melville, Thoreau and Fuller (among others). She is currently at work on a biography of novelist, actress and educator Susanna Rowson (1762-1824).

Julie Cartner
Cartner taught high school English for 38 years, primarily at South Rowan High School in China Grove and Davie County High School in Mocksville, both in the Central Piedmont part of North Carolina. She specialized in junior and senior honors English, which focuses primarily on American and British literature. In addition to teaching, she spent many years coaching cheerleading as well as being involved in many other aspects of public education.  Julie graduated from Catawba College in 1977 with a degree in English and Physical Education.  She later added AIG certification, then her National Board Certification. She has been married for 32 years and has five children ranging from 21 to 30. They live in North Carolina and Connecticut.  She and her husband have two dogs, two cats, a horse and a donkey. She is very involved in yoga and line dancing, loves to take long walks in the woods taking many pictures and is an avid reader. Julie also belong to a writing guild and is working on several short stories and a biography/autobiography. She have been involved in “Let's Talk About It” for many years as a participant. Last year was her first year as an official facilitator, but she has led many programs at her local library.

Louise Taylor
Taylor is the daughter of two hard-working parents from the mountains of Virginia and Kentucky who moved north to Ohio during the Great Depression. There, her father became a successful lawyer and her mother was woman for all seasons—housekeeper, gardener, horse-woman, public speaker and coach of her dad’s oral arguments. Louise was encouraged to do well in school and attend college. After college, she became a teacher, first at Josephus Daniels Middle School in Raleigh and later at Campbell College, where she met Jerry Taylor, a young math teacher who became her husband and the love of her life. They have three adult sons.

She taught English at Meredith College for 25 years, retiring in 2003. In retirement, she has worked for political candidates, including herself in 2004.  Louise also served on the Harnett County Board of Elections, taught courses in the NCSU Encore Program, and has enjoyed leading discussions with library book groups such as this one.

Michelle Manning
Manning, a North Carolina native, received a BA in English from UNCCH and an English Ed degree from UNCW. She was received two masters degrees from UNCW: a MAT in English and a MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction. In addition to teaching high school English, she was a visiting instructor at the University of Central Florida. Presently, as a full-time lecturer at UNCW, she teaches both traditional and online classes in literature, teacher education, professional writing, and composition.

This project is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Let’s Talk About It” is a joint project of the North Carolina Humanities Council & the North Carolina Center for the Book, a program of the State Library of North Carolina/Department of Cultural Resources and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.