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WOODLAND READS            “Getting Everyone on the Same Page”

An ambitious plan was hatched in our bookstore, back in 2002, to get every able person in Woodland to read the same book. Following programs in several major American cities, WILL, Woodlanders in League for Literacy, asked for public participation in an exciting effort to foster literacy, acceptance and respect.

That first year, more than 1,200 people read The Circuit and met its very gracious author, Francisco Jimenez. The following year, Epitaph for a Peach and David Mas Masumoto brought his knowledge and enthusiasm to the program. In 2004, WILL chose The Kite Runner, and the author, Khaled Hosseini, charmed the crowds with his wonderful novel of Afghanistan. In 2006, a Woodland native, Jennifer Traig, told her own humorous story with Devil in the Details. And for the last year we were involved in the program, we welcomed the charming Greg Sarris and his book Mabel McKay: Weaving the Story. Woodland Reads has had a rich history of getting people together around a good book. 

circuitepkite runnerdevil in the detailsmabel mckay


The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez

Francisco Jimenez's featured books:

The Circuit: Stories from the life of a Migrant Child
Breaking Through (sequel to The Circuit)
La Mariposa (illustrated story from The Circuit)
The Christmas Gift  (illustrated story from The Circuit)

The Circuit has been awarded the following:
   - Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction
   - ALA Best Book for Young Adults
   - A Booklist Editors' Choice
   - Jane Addams Children's Honor Book
   - Americas Award Winner for Children's and Young Adult Literature

In the process of sharing a common book, the community has an opportunity to build bonds encouraging respect and honor of one another. Above all, the goal of this project was to get people reading. A readership of 500 people (1% of the city's population) was the goal. We kept the official tally here at the bookstore. We had 1,200 people on our tally sheets (they read more than 1,459 books...and we only tracked readers of The Circuit and La Mariposa), including members of: the City Council, the WJUSD School Board, and some very excited school kids.

There were several front-page stories about the program in the Daily Democrat and Davis Enterprise, as well as mention in The Sacramento Bee, on the local cable TV station, and the Spanish TV station in Sacramento did many segments on WOODLAND READS. boy
WOODLAND READS!  Week  of Events

May 10
Reading and reception with bestselling writer John Lescroart and fellow Davis writer David Masiel. (at the Next Chapter bookstore)

May 11

Francisco Alarco
n, award-winning poet and educator, read from his children's poetry books. (Next Chapter)

Readings from
Mike Madison with A Sense of Order: The Rural Landscape of Lower Putah Creek and Ann F. Scheuring with Abundant Harvest: The History of the University
of California Davis
(Next Chapter)

Katrina Prado
read and signed her novel, Boxes of Years. (Next Chapter)

May 12
Sandra McPherson
& Walter Pavlich, area poets, read & talked poetry. (Next Chapter) 
May 15
There was an informal and free-ranging discussion of The Circuit. (Next Chapter)

May 16
Bilingual reading of Dr. Jimenez’s La Mariposa during the preschool story time. (Woodland Public Library)

May 17
Francisco Jimenez
talked with students at several schools during the day and spoke before the general public that evening at Woodland High School.

May 19
Guadalupe Martin-Gonzalez
read and discussed Dr. Jimenez's book La Mariposa in Spanish (Holy Rosary Church)

Jane Baker Lotter read from her new book, To Africa With Spatula. (Next Chapter)

FJFrancisco Jimenez immigrated with his family to California from Tlaquepaque, Mexico. He worked in the fields of California as a child, and his autobiographical novel, The Circuit, tells the story of those younger years, as do his two picture books, La Mariposa, a Smithsonian Notable Book, and The Christmas Gift, an American Library Association Notable Book. His newest book, Breaking Through, is a sequel to The Circuit. He received both his master's degree and his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is now the Fay Boyle Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures and director of the ethnic studies program at Santa Clara University. He lives in Santa Clara, CA, with his wife and three children.

Francisco Jimenez online

The organizing group, WILL, was a coalition of many community entities: Beamer School Site Council, Friends of the Woodland Public Library, Woodland Chamber of Commerce, Woodland City Council, Woodland Community College, Woodland Joint Unified School District, Woodland Police Department, Woodland Public Library, Yolo County Housing Authority, Yolo County Retired Teachers Association, Yolo County Sheriff's Office, and The Next Chapter.

Epitaph for a Peach
by David Mas Masumoto

As pleasurable as a perfect peach, Epitaph for a Peach tells the passionate story of one farmer’s attempt to rescue one of the last truly sweet and juicy fruits from becoming obsolete in a world that increasingly values commerciality over quality. The story of Mas Masumoto’s Sun Crest peaches begins on the day he turns the bulldozers away from his orchards and vows to give himself four seasons to find a home for the fruits of his labor.

At once a deeply personal story, a sharp commentary about the state of American agriculture, a lighthearted rhapsody of nature, and an intimate glimpse into the Asian American experience, Epitaph for a Peach is about saving a peach, saving a farm, saving a family, saving a way of life—it is a story about finding “home.”

Epitaph for a Peach—One Book, One Sacramento
David Mas Masumoto and Epitaph for a Peach was picked (the man & the book...not the peach) for "One Book, One Sacramento" to read and participate in dozens of related literary events in Sacramento in early October, 2005. Did Woodland Reads 2003 give Sacramento the idea? As Woodland goes...so goes Sacramento and then the world.

February 28 
David Mas Masumoto,
author/farmer visited, met with students from the Honors English and Agriculture classes at Woodland High School.

A luncheon was held with Mr. Masumoto at the Hotel Woodland, where the author give a talk on his writings and discussed his farming way of life.

David Mas Masumoto met with students at Douglas Jr. High School.

Mr. Masumoto
read from his newest book, Four Seasons in Five Senses: Things Worth Saving, at The Next Chapter. He answered questions about all of his books, talked with the public, and signed his books for the public.

March 1
The public met with David Mas Masumoto at Gregory’s Restaurant in Woodland.
Mas took part in a tree planting ceremony at Pioneer High School, where several Sun Crest peach trees (generously donated by local folks) were planted on the campus, with the help of the Woodland High School chapter of the FFA.

The last event was a closed meeting of the Shakespeare Club, where Mr. Masumoto discussed Epitaph for a Peach with the members of one of the country’s oldest book clubs.

                      There were also events at the Woodland Public Library.
February 20
A preschool story time featured books related to the themes of Epitaph for a Peach.

February 26
A program by writer and Depression era scholar Jan Goggans that featured slides and her talk about the work of Dorothea Lange.

DMMDavid Mas Masumoto is a third generation farmer, grows organic peaches, grapes and raisins, works with his 80 year old father on their organic 80 acre farm south of Fresno, and is the author of Harvest Son: Planting Roots in American Soil and Epitaph For A Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm. Masumoto has written for USA Today, Los Angeles Times and is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee. He has a bachelors degree in sociology from U.C. Berkeley and a masters degree in community development from U.C. Davis and attended International University in Tokyo, Japan. Masumoto and his wife, Marcy have two children, Nikiko and Korio and reside in an 90 year old farmhouse surrounded by their vineyards and orchards just outside of Del Rey, California which is 20 miles south of Fresno.

Mas's website
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

kite runner
The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant,  It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

Kite Runner—Santa Monica Citywide Reads
Khaled Hosseini and The Kite Runner was chosen for Santa Monica's reading program. The book also spent a long time on the San Francisco Chronicle's bestsellers list (long-time #1) and the New York Times list—where it also hit #1. There was also a film made from the book as well.

June 8
Author Luncheon & Talk on Ludy's patio with our author Khaled Hosseini where he talked about his wonderful novel and his life in Afghanistan and northern California.

Author Reading, Booksigning & Discussion at The Next Chapter with Dr. Hosseini.

Khaled Hosseini will also visited several Woodland classrooms.
People of all ages were also encouraged to enter our KITE ART contest, have their creations displayed in a participating store downtown, and win prize packages. The contest was brought to the public by the good people of Woodlanders in League for Literacy and the Woodland Art Center

KHKhaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan where his mother taught Farsi and history in a high school and his father worked for the embassy. In 1980, after the 1978 coup by pro-Soviet officers and the subsequent Soviet invasion, the family was granted political asylum in the United States. He lives in northern California, where he is a physician. The Kite Runner is his first novel.

Khaled's website
Devil in the Details
by Jennifer Traig

devil in the details
Devil in the Details
announces Jennifer Traig as one of the most hilarious writers to emerge in recent years--and one of the strangest! The book is about her battle with an obsessive-compulsive disorder and begins with her growing up in Woodland.

Recalling the agony of growing up obsessive-compulsive and a religious fanatic, Traig fearlessly confesses the most peculiar behavior--like tirelessly scrubbing her hands for a full half hour before dinner, feeding her stuffed animals before herself, and washing everything she owned because she thought it was contaminated by pork fumes. The result is a book so relentlessly funny and frank, it's totally refreshing.

May 10
Author Luncheon & Talk with Jennifer Traig on Ludy's patio in Woodland.

Crafty Time - Jennifer Traig created "masterpieces” with kids aged 8-14, in the basement beneath the Next Chapter
Author Reading & Booksigning with Jennifer Traig at the Next Chapter
Jennifer also visited classrooms at Woodland High School, Pioneer High School, and Cache Creek High School.

Jennifer Traig
is a frequent contributor to McSweeney's Internet Tendency, San Francisco Chronicle and The Forward. Her reputation as a smart and funny voice is already well known in many circles. She has a Ph.D. in literature, grew up in the California Central Valley city of Woodland, and presently lives in San Francisco.

Jennifer Traig's adolescence took angst to new heights, adding a layer of obsessive-compulsive drama that made ordinary mortifications like bad hairstyles and fashion errors feel like the good parts. Devil in the Details is her unforgettable, hilarious, wrenching account of growing up weird.

With an unsparing eye and deep affection for those who put up with her and got her through, Jennifer Traig delivers a masterpiece of rueful candor-funny, heartbreaking, and irresistible for anyone who ever looked back at their teenage self and cringed.

WILL is graciously supported this year by several entities: Woodland Sunrise Rotary, Friends of the Woodland Public Library, Apple Tree Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Woodland, NVB Business Bank, and various individuals. Through their generous donations, WILL has been able to supply 120 books to students in the classrooms which Jennifer will visit.
Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream
by Greg Sarris

mabel mckay


FEB 14
Greg Sarris
met with students in classrooms at Pioneer High School and Woodland Community College

Author Talk & Community Luncheon with Greg Sarris at Woodland Community College
Author Reading & Booksigning with Greg Sarris at the Next Chapter

FEB 15
Museum Talk by Greg Sarris at Gibson House
Our brave author, Mr. Sarris, spoke with classes at Woodland Community College, Pioneer High School, and Woodland High School

                          basket 2                          basket
FEB 16

There were Native Basket Weaving Demonstrations at Cache Creek Nature Preserve (Woodland) and the Winters Participation Gallery in Winters

FEB 17
Native Basket Exhibition Reception and Opening at Gibson House Museum

GS    Greg's website

After starting Woodland Reads in 2002, and organizing and hosting many of the programs events through 2007, we and the bookstore eventually had to leave Woodland, and the program has been continued by other members of WILL.
You can learn more about what's coming up at woodlandreads.org
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