The Evanston Public Library invites residents to join in The Big Read to connect, learn and enjoy through reading and discussion, one story shared by all.

Participants in Evanston’s Big Read will read “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea, the son of a Mexican father and Anglo mother. The Library encourages Evanstonians of all ages to explore and celebrate this uplifting, modern-day quest novel set in a U.S. – Mexico border town. The Big Read kicks off with a celebration of Mexican dance and music at the Library on Sept. 19, at 3 p.m. in the Library’s Community Meeting Room with “Danzas Ceremoniales de Mexico.”

At the kick-off, 100 free books will be given away on a first come, first served basis. From October 2015 through May 2016, there will be more than 20 book discussions held at locations all over the city, including all Library locations, Curt’s Cafe, Evanston community centers, Bookends and Beginnings, senior homes, the Celtic Knot, Northwestern University, Yo Fresh Yogurt Cafe, through ETHS parent groups, and more. The first book discussion of “Into the Beautiful North” will be held at the Main Library on Oct. 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

There will be programs in English as well as Spanish. In addition to the book discussions, The Big Read will include a keynote presentation by the author, lectures, a Mexican film festival, and programs in Evanston public schools.

A film screening of the 1960 movie, “The Magnificent Seven,” that inspired the story within “Into the Beautiful North” will be screened on Sept. 15, 12-2:30 p.m.

Mr. Urrea is a prolific, award-winning writer. He is a master of language and a gifted storyteller who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore themes of love,
loss and triumph.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.