• Bellefonte Reads committee selects featured book for 2020 One Book, One Bellefonte event

    Each year, the Bellefonte Reads committee selects one book that brings a common theme to the community for its annual One Book, One Bellefonte event. With the feature book titled, “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus” and companion picture book for younger readers called, “Just Ask,” the theme for the 2020 event is “be brave, be different, be you.”

    One Book, One Bellefonte will be held 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Bellefonte Area High School. About 500 free copies of the featured book will be distributed.

    Jackie Wynkoop, secondary literacy coach and co-chairwoman of Bellefonte Reads, said the committee that oversees the organization worked throughout the summer to read books and choose ones that could potentially be a good fit for the community. From there, they narrowed down the list.

    “We felt like we needed to focus on one strong book that drives the theme,” Wynkoop said. “We decided we wanted to go with the story (“Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus”) because of the humor and because of its strong message – that as humans we each have something unique to offer to the world.”

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    “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus,” by Dusti Bowling, tells the story of 13-year-old Aven Green who was born without arms. When her parents move her from Kansas to Arizona, because they’ve taken jobs operating a rundown western-theme amusement park called Stagecoach Pass, Aven feels like she doesn’t fit it. But when she meets a boy who also has a disability, they become friends and team up to solve a mystery at the theme park.

    *You can see the full message from Bowling in this custom video she made for Bellefonte Reads: https://flipgrid.com/s/0297f785b6a8

    This year’s companion book is “Just Ask!” by Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor – a picture book that shows not all disabilities are visible.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD