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NEA Big Read celebrates 'A Wizard of Earthsea'

Posted On: December 28, 2018

“A Wizard of Earthsea” is coming to Volusia County – in a big way. The Volusia County Public Library system will celebrate the fantasy novel with nearly 300 programs from Jan. 19 through Feb. 28.

The NEA Big Read, which encourages community reading through programs designed around a single book, offers grants through the National Endowment for the Arts. The Volusia County Public Library system received a $15,000 NEA Big Read grant and selected Ursula Le Guin’s novel as its title.

The library system’s branches and other venues will host book discussions, author talks, concerts, crafts and children’s programs based on the novel. They also will present performances of an original play written by library employee Karen Poulsen.

Each library branch will hand out free copies of the novel and calendars of events on Jan. 12. Visitors may enter a drawing to win a prize basket that includes gifts from community merchants. Each branch will select its winner on Jan. 29.

Book lovers can celebrate “A Wizard of Earthsea” during a kick-off program from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Daytona Beach Regional Library, 105 E. Magnolia Ave. The event will feature children’s games, magic shows, a green screen photo op, and a life-size game designed by staff to celebrate the novel. The library’s play yard will be transformed into Earthsea with dragon and kite crafts, children’s games, mini-boat building, and animals from 4-H. Dr. John Robbins, an associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, will discuss the past, present and future of robotics, interactive technologies, automation and artificial intelligence.

Author Benjamin Percy will give the keynote address, “Making the Extraordinary Ordinary,” from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Daytona Beach Regional Library. His lecture will address the works of Le Guin, Angela Carter, George Saunders and Stephen King.

For a complete list of programs, visit www.volusialibrary.org.

For more information, call the Volusia County Public Library at 386-248-1745.