Just as we're officially kicking off Santa Monica Citywide Reads 2011, we've gotten great news from the NAACP Image Awards. Our selection for 2011, Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, was just nominated for two awards in the NAACP's literature categories: Best Novel and Best First Novel. Needless to say, we're very proud of Dolen and rooting hard for her to take home an award or two.
And the news gets even better. Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky was also nominated for Best First Novel. Five months ago, when our selection committee met to make our 2011 selection, both Wench and The Girl Who Fell from the Sky were among our five finalists. Selection committee members were so impressed by both books, as well as a third nominee (Kathryn Stockett's The Help), that they asked us to spotlight those books in some way as well. In addition to reading Wench with all of you, we'll also be hosting two special bonus book discussions of The Help and The Girl Who Fell from the Sky during the latter half of Citywide Reads 2011. We weren't able to entice Kathryn Stockett to make a visit to Santa Monica for an author talk to coincide with our discussion of her book, but Heidi Durrow will definitely be visiting with us, immediately following our discussion of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky on Wednesday, March 2nd. And that's just two days before the NAACP Image Awards ceremony, so we'll get to cheer her on personally as well.
We're thrilled that both Wench and The Girl Who Fell from the Sky received nominations, and we hope you'll join us in reading and discussing both, and coming out to meet Dolen and Heidi. For a full listing of dates and times for our Citywide Reads discussions and special events, click through to our PDF resource guide: http://www.smpl.org/cwr/WENCH.pdf.
And be sure to check out the NAACP Image Awards website to see all of their nominees: http://www.naacpimageawards.net/42/nominees-and-honorees/