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West Hartford To Launch ‘One Book, One Town’ Program

The title of the book to be featured in West Hartford’s first ‘One Book, One Town’ program will be revealed on Nov. 7. 

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By Ronni Newton

The title of a non-fiction book, that includes themes like acceptance and anti-bullying, will be unveiled at a special event at Barnes & Noble in Blue Back Square as it becomes the first selection in West Hartford’s inaugural “One Book, One Town” program.

The One Book, One Town program, which has already been successfully launched in other towns throughout the state, is designed to “bring the community together by reading a common book which will stimulate conversations around its core theme,” the Town of West Hartford said in a news release.

The kick-off event, scheduled for Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, is free and open to the public and will include a variety of activities inside and outside the store. Children will be able to enjoy story time as well as an outdoor soccer activity, and there will also be a free Instagram photo opportunity with a giant One Book, One Town frame.

There will also be a book fair offering a 10 percent discount on the chosen book to West Hartford residents. One Book, One Town West Hartford will receive a percentage of sales from the book fair to help support upcoming events surrounding the initiative.

In addition, according to the release the first 50 people who purchase the selected book on Nov. 7 will receive a free tall hot chocolate or coffee and an assortment of mini-cookies.

Barnes & Noble Community Relations Manager Jenna LaRiviere thought West Hartford would be an ideal community for One Book, One Town, and initiated the planning process for the program in July 2015.

“With the help of a cross-section of community leaders in West Hartford, we have selected a book that will surely garner the attention of the young and older readers,” La Riviere said in the release. The book will be available in versions for adults as well as teens. Several titles with a similar theme have also been selected to involve elementary school age children in the program.

“The nonfiction book was selected because of its timeliness of multi-cultural events that are occurring right now in the world, as well as its perfect tie-in with themes that are reinforced at our public schools, with our sports leagues, and at home. The themes include acceptance, anti-bullying, fitness, and being your best self,” Renée McCue, public relations specialist for the Town of West Hartford said in the release.

The inaugural One Book, One Town is a joint effort by the Town of West Hartford, West Hartford Public Libraries, West Hartford Public Schools, the Noah Webster House, the West Hartford Human Rights Commission, Starwood Retail, and Barnes & Noble.

Future special events surrounding One Book, One Town will be held beginning in Jan. 2016, and will continue through National Library week in April 2016. All One Book, One Town events are free and open to the public.

To keep up-to-date on the initiative, visit the special One Book, One Town website, www.westhartfordct.gov/1Book1Town.

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