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Submitted by the One Book, One Bedford ~ MARCH Committee

Central to the “One Book, One Bedford” community read of Representative John Lewis’s graphic-novel trilogy, MARCH, are book discussion groups. We are offering several discussion groups for readers to get together and talk about the form and content of the books, the issues raised by the books, and their personal reactions to the series.

The dates are:

  • Friday, October 20, at 10:00am, Vestry Room, First Church Congregational, 25 Great Road (led by Meredith McCulloch)
  • Monday, October 23, at 7:30pm in the Bedford Library Meeting Room (led by Maureen Richichi)
  • Sunday, October 29, at 2:00pm starting at First Parish Unitarian Universalist, 75 Great Road (led by Lisa Baylis)
  • Monday, October 30, at 7:30pm in the Bedford Library Meeting Room (led by Doris Smith)
  • Wednesday, November 8, at 7:30pm in the Bedford Library Meeting Room (led by Ginni Spencer)

Most discussion groups will follow a traditional format, with an experienced discussion leader guiding interested readers to explore the books and share their responses. Each discussion group will last approximately one hour, and light refreshments will be served.

The discussion group on October 29 will invite participants to use not only their minds and mouths, but also their feet. On that day from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, join a unique book discussion experience as we walk through a cinematic history of key events in MARCH. We will gather at four nearby locations, beginning with First Parish on the Town Common. At each location, participants will view short film clips of civil rights marches & pivotal events from the book, including reflections of some event participants. Together we will walk between each location. Our final destination will be the Bedford Public Library for refreshments and a one-hour book discussion. One focus of our discussion will be about the nature of marching for a cause, be it for a charity or political/social change. How does the act of moving with like-minded people in a public forum differ from other forms of expression? Registration is required for the 10/29 event: visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080B44A8A929A7F49-march to register.

A separate discussion group is designed for middle schoolers only. The October selection of the Middle School Book Club is MARCH: BOOK ONE, and teen services librarian Pam Aghababian will lead middle schoolers in a discussion of the series. This group will be held on Monday, October 30, at 3:00pm at the library.

The MARCH trilogy, co-written by Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, covers Lewis’s youth in rural Alabama, his young adulthood as a student activist and Freedom Rider, and his leadership in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Major events from the Civil Rights Era, including the 1963 March on Washington, the Freedom Ride movement, and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights, are covered in detail.

The One Book, One Bedford program is open to all, with events planned for all ages and a variety of ways to participate. Books are available to borrow at the Bedford Library, and can be purchased through traditional and online booksellers. One Book, One Bedford is sponsored by The Bedford Citizen, and made possible through the support of the Bedford Free Public Library, the Friends of the BFPL, The Bedford Cultural Council, the League of Women Voters, the Town of Bedford, and the Bedford Public Schools.

More information on the program can be found at http://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/march/.

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