Book jackets for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and How Children Succeed

4. Books & Beyond: Join Us for Barrington Reads!

Home Newsroom 4. Books & Beyond: Join Us for Barrington Reads!

It’s that time of the year. The holidays are over, the winter drags on forever, and we’re starting to get a little stir crazy. We need something fun and interesting to do to make it through to spring, and that’s where Barrington Reads comes in!

Logo reading Barrington Reads, Presented by the Barrington Area Library, Barrington 220, the PTO Presidents' Council and the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation.
One Book One Barrington is now officially Barrington Reads! Join us for what I think is our best line-up yet.

Formerly One Book One Barrington, Barrington Reads is a community reading initiative that brings our entire community together every February to read and discuss a pair of great books. The Barrington Area Library is proud to partner with Barrington 220, the Barrington PTO Presidents’ Council, and the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation to bring you this great program.

Book jackets for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and How Children Succeed
We’ve got two wonderful books on schedule for this year’s Barrington Reads initiative: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and How Children Succeed.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce is our fiction selection for the year.

Recently retired Harold receives word that an old friend is dying. He quickly writes her a letter and steps out to drop it in the mail. A chance encounter with a convenience store cashier inspires him to deliver the letter in person, launching a pilgrimage of over 600 miles. Walking with only the clothes on his back and the contents of his pockets, he meets many strange and wonderful people and, over time, discovers himself, too. This is a lovely and thought provoking book, and a natural choice for Barrington Reads.

There’s a lot here to discuss, so if you have a book club, you might like to suggest it for an upcoming selection, too. As the novel surged in popularity late in 2012, our librarians started recommending it to each other and pretty soon it seemed like we were all a little Harold obsessed. 🙂

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough is our nonfiction selection for 2014.

What role does failure play in a child’s successes? Author Tough argues that occasional failure creates kids who are curious and resilient, with the character and important skills to persevere through life’s challenges. The book presents compelling research that suggests our focus on academics and test scores may be preventing children from developing the skills they really need to survive and thrive well into adulthood.

These two books – Harold Fry and How Children Succeed – relate to and elevate each other: an important aspect of Harold Fry is the story of how Harold was raised, and how he chooses to raise his son. Read more about Paul Tough on his website.

So – how can you participate in Barrington Reads? As always, we love it when you read with us! The library has lots of copies of these books available in multiple formats. You can join us as an individual, a couple, a family, or even bring your book club. We’d love to invite you to read and then discuss one or both titles with us. We’ll talk about Harold Fry on February 10 at The Annex and February 21 at The Garlands of Barrington, and How Children Succeed on February 25 at Barrington High School with clinical psychologist Dr. Tim Hull.

Photographs of author Paul Tough and author Rachel Joyce
Paul Tough (left) is the author of How Children Succeed and will speak at Barrington High School on February 4. Rachel Joyce (right) is the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and will chat with us via Skype on February 23.

We’re thrilled to be able to host author Paul Tough here in Barrington on February 4 at the BHS Auditorium. The New York Times bestselling author will speak  about developing character in children with a focus on our community. Parents, grandparents, teachers, caregivers – you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear and discuss Tough’s ideas for raising successful, resilient children. Register now. We’re so grateful to the PTO Presidents’ Council and the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation for their very generous funding of this program.

On Sunday, February 23 in the BHS Guidance Resource Center, we’ll host a live Skype chat with Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry along with her latest work, Perfect.  Joyce is also an award-winning writer for BBC Radio 4 and had a celebrated career as an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Leading the interview is 365 Barrington’s own Liz Luby! Bring your questions for what is sure to be a fun and enlightening conversation. Register now. Thank you to 365 Barrington for their sponsorship of this program.

Reading Harold Fry might make you yearn for a flight to England and the opportunity to enjoy its natural beauty and culture. Come to our English High Tea on Saturday, February 22 in the Barrington High School Cafeteria. Chef Dave Esau will create some delicious goodies for us while we learn about the history and customs of tea from Barrington’s own Elizabeth Todd-Middleditch. Register – space is limited.

Photograph of tea cup and plate with scones, jam and clotted cream
You are cordially invited to join us for English High Tea at Barrington High School on Saturday, February 22.

If adventure is more your style, we’ve got two great programs to inspire some wanderlust. On Saturday, February 8, we’ll enjoy a travelogue of the North of England by the always popular John Lynn. He’ll cover 200 miles of English countryside, from sea to sea. Register HERE.

Or get a little closer to home with Barrington’s Bob Lee on Sunday, February 9. This local hero will tell us all about his Ride for Three Reasons experience, and share the highlights of his travels across the country. Register HERE.

But wait – there’s more! It’s too much to list here, so pick up a copy of our Check It Out newsletter (or read it online here), our Barrington Reads brochure, or visit our Barrington Reads website for all the important details. We’re looking forward to reading with you!

Post 300 - Barrington Area Librarian Liz KirchhoffAbout the Author

Liz Kirchhoff is an Adult Services Librarian at the Barrington Area Library.

She loves traveling, crafting, LEGOs, and books.

Check out what Liz is reading now at:

At the library, Liz loves helping people find their next favorite book, as well as answering questions about social media and devices.

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