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Read Me Treasure Valley 2017: The River Why

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Organizers of Read Me Treasure Valley say this year’s selection of The River Why, by David James Duncan, should inspire more than just thousands of residents reading the same book. They see the 2017 edition of the valley-wide read as creating its own sense of community.

“We’re not only introducing people to a great book, but building community by having them come together and talking about it and, hopefully, come to all these events we are putting on,” said Ada Community Library Director Mary DeWalt.

The River Why, published in 1983, tells the tale of a young fly fisherman who retreats to a secluded cabin on a riverbank. Isolation unsettles the angler, opening up a wider journey of self-discovery and spirituality.

The Ada Community Library and its network of partner libraries came together to find a book organizers said should resonate with the community.

“We have these fabulous rivers and outdoor spaces in Idaho,” said DeWalt. “We’re hoping to draw a wide audience of people who will read it or re-read it.”

DeWalt said younger readers might find The River Why a bit too difficult or too long, so the library has also selected complimentary books to better fit a younger demographic—including the picture book Where the River Begins, by Thomas Locker, and young-adult novel Chomp, by Carl Hiaasen.

Read Me Treasure Valley kicks off with an event Thursday, Feb. 9 at Esther Simplot Park in Boise.

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