All Spencer Reads 2013

The Year of Goodbyes by Debbie Levy.
The Spencer Public Library received a 720.00 mini-grant from Iowa Humanities for All Spencer Reads 2013. All Spencer Reads is a community-wide reading of one selected book that links the citizens of Spencer in a common conversation. All Spencer Reads encourages dialogue about a particular book, but also fosters lifelong learning and the development of a strong community identity.

This year the library is hosting an inter-generational read. We encourage young and old to read the book, The Year of Goodbyes and come to our final program on January 29th.

The Year of Goodbyes tells the true story of what happened to a 12 year-old girl named Jutta in 1938. Actual entries in a posiealbum (autograph book) serve as stepping stones in a crucial year in history, when people of Jewish ancestry in Germany and Austria were systematically stripped of their rights, subjected to violence and arrested without cause.

Jutta was one of the lucky ones who escaped to America before the rising tide of violence erupted into World War II and the tragedy of the Holocaust. Remembrances from Jutta's friends and relatives introduce chapters, written in verse form, that describe her experiences--many typical of any teenager anywhere--and report some of the history of the era.

Debbie wrote these verses in consulation with Jutta--her mother--to reflect her voice, feelings, and thoughts as she was living through this memorable year. The book includes exerpts from Jutta's diary. Together the poesie writings, verses and diary entries reflect a year of change and chance, confusion and cruelty. Most of all, they describe a year of goodbyes.

Check out the book The Year of Goodbyes and pick up your reading packet at the library. A free journal is also included! Join us as we Sykpe with the author of The Year of Goodbyes, Debbie Levy, and the reason for the book, Jutta Salzberg, January 29th at 7:00 pm.