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LB Reads One Book: ‘Three Cups of Tea’

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation will kick off its annual citywide celebration of reading, Long Beach Reads One Book, with a presentation by the co-author of this year’s selection, “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time.”

The annual weeklong celebration includes numerous activities throughout the community and in local schools.

At the kick-off on Friday, March 6, co-author Greg Mortensen will speak at 7 p.m. at Cal State Long Beach’s Carpenter Center.  The public is invited.  Tickets are $30 for the public and $15 for students/faculty, and are available at www.carpenterarts.org, or by calling the Arts Ticket Office Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. at 985-7000.

“Three Cups of Tea,” which won the 2007 Kiriyama Prize for nonfiction, tells of Mortenson’s efforts to fight the root causes of terrorism – ignorance and poverty – by building schools in the most remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the Taliban and Al-Qaeda flourish.  Mortenson has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is currently debuting two young-reader versions of his book, which are now available for purchase in stores.

In local schools, elementary librarians will receive a picture book version, “Listen to the Wind,” so that teachers may bring students to school libraries for read-alouds.

Middle and K-8 schools will receive a middle school version class set to be rotated among eighth graders, along with five copies for the librarian.

Each high school will receive 45 copies to rotate among tenth grade classes, as well as five copies for each librarian.

Mortenson also is speaking from 12 to 1 p.m. at Wilson Classical High School, where students from other high schools and middle schools also will attend.  No remaining seats are available for the Wilson event.

Since 2002, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation has been encouraging the love of reading through Long Beach Reads One Book, which brings the community together to read and discuss one book through a wide range of activities.  This year’s celebration will run from March 6 to 14.

Other events include an all-day public read of the book hosted by Justin Rudd, toddler story times at various libraries in Long Beach, a Pakistani cultural dance event, and much more.

This year, the Foundation has partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to broaden the event into an entire Festival of Arts and Literature, under the theme of Visions, Voices.

A brochure with further information on local activities is available inside all Long Beach libraries and can be viewed at www.lbplfoundation.org/programs_lbrob.html.  The Library Foundation may be contacted at 628-2441.  A calendar of events may be viewed at www.artslb.org/content/visions-voices-calendar.  The Arts Council may be contacted at 570-1930.