GRANGEVILLE -- More than 20 people gathered at The Gallery Tuesday, Jan. 15, for the first “Let’s Talk About It” session of 2019.

Participants discussed the book “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson. This year’s discussion in Grangeville, and at several libraries across the state of Idaho, focus on “Connecting Generations.”

“Books bring people together,” said Nancy Casey of Moscow, who was the scholar and meeting facilitator for Bridge to Terabithia.

Casey asked questions on how people who may have read the book as a youth responded to it differently now and how the generations were connected throughout the book.

“I really did not enjoy this book,” said Shelley Dumas. “To me, it did not build up the characters and make the needed connections.”

Many in the group agreed the book was written for a more childlike audience in some ways.

“I watched an interview with the author, and she received a lot of flak for the death of Leslie in the book, but she explained, ‘it’s better for a child to deal with death for the first time in a book, rather than in real life,’” Casey said.

Norm Turnipseed said he appreciated the farm vernacular and appreciated character Jesse’s observant behavior in the book.

“Kids have a lot more going on inside their heads than we realize at times,” Andrea Solberg offered.

Leslie McDaniel said she read the book to students as a teacher, but this was the first time in 40-plus years she had read the book “just for me.”

Merle O’Rourke talked about the book being banned (it is ninth on the American Library Association's list of 100 books most commonly banned from schools between the years 1990 – 2000) for its use of “profanity.”

“Jess says ‘Oh, Lord,’ and that doesn’t fly in many places,” he said.

All meetings are set for Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., at The Gallery, 107 West North Street. Books are currently available for pickup at the library, 215 West North Street, Grangeville, and the second session is set for Feb. 5. Call 208-983-0951.

Meeting dates, books and scholars for the remainder of the series are:

*Feb. 5: The Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954) with scholar Jennifer Ladino

*Feb. 26: When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale (2009) with scholar Paula Coomer

*March 12: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2002) with scholar Barbara Meldrum

*March 26: The Enders Hotel by Brandon R. Schrand (2008) with scholar Wendy Green

The Let’s Talk About It program is made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council; the National Endowment for the Humanities USBancorp Foundation; and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which administers the Library Services and Technology Act. The program is administered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries.

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