Malaprop's kicks off citywide book club with graphic novel about civil rights movement

Author Andrew Aydin and civil rights leader John Lewis pose with Aydin's Coretta Scott King award written about Lewis's role in the civil rights movement. (Photo credit: Malaprops)

Malaprop’s Bookstore announces Rise Up and Read Together, a year-long program that invites all residents of Asheville to read the same book.

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café has selected its inaugural book-- Vol. 1 of the "March" trilogy, "March: Book One." The "March" trilogy is an award-winning, New York Times number one best-selling graphic-novel memoir series offering an inside story of the civil rights movement as seen through the eyes of one of its most iconic figures, civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman, John Lewis.

The series is written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated and lettered by Nate Powell. "March" is the first comics work to win the National Book Award, and is a recipient of the Will Eisner Comics Industry Award for Best Reality-Based Work, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition, and the Coretta Scott King Book Award (Author) Honor.

The Washington Post heralded the completion of the March trilogy, saying, "There is perhaps no more important modern book to be stocked in American school libraries than March. The closest American peer to Maus has arrived."

Malaprop’s will host a visit by author Andrew Aydin on Sunday March 26, 2017 at 3 p.m. The event also will announce the launch of the Rise Up and Read Together program. Click here for more details about the event.

Tickets to the event are free and available at Malaprop’s will sell March: Book One at a 10 percent discount throughout the duration of this year’s program.

Asheville Mayor Esther Mannheimer said the program is "a way to expand the conversation that starts when families read together to neighborhoods, schools, faith institutions, community groups, retirement communities and the city as a whole. I hope this common ground of sharing will strengthen our community and create connections where there have been divides.”

Emoke B’Racz, Malaprop’s owner and founder, added that “Malaprop’s has been a resource to the Asheville community since it opened its doors in 1982. Our mission has always been to create a welcoming environment in which all kinds of people can come together around words, books, and ideas. The March trilogy is the kind of work that will inspire discussion across generations.”

Community groups, faith groups, social justice organizations, and book clubs are encouraged to participate by reading "March: Book One" together and creating discussion groups among their members.

YWCA Asheville, Stand Against Racism, BeLoved Asheville, Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jovene, Building Bridges, Movement in Faith, Rainbow Community School and Faith for Justice Asheville have already signed on as official partners. Area schools and libraries are exploring programming around the book.

Rise Up and Read Together is modeled on the One City One Book program, and is designed to build a sense of community and promote literacy. Like One City One Book, Asheville’s Rise Up and Read Together program takes the idea of a localized book discussion club and expands it to an entire community.

There is a Facebook group anyone can join who would like to collaborate and connect with other readers; check it out here.

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