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"This Tender Land" chosen for Crete Reads! 2022

Author to visit Crete in October

Crete Reads! is an annual, community-wide reading project from Crete Public Library.

Crete Public Library is pleased to announce the selection of "This Tender Land," by William Kent Kruger as the 2022 Crete Reads! book after a public vote from three finalists. The author will be the featured speaker at an event on Oct. 22.

Stay tuned for social media, website, and print announcements of programs related to the Crete Reads! book selection.

The library will have regular and large print copies available in addition to ebook and audiobook versions accessible on the Libby and OverDrive apps.

"This Tender Land," (464 pages) 1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, "This Tender Land" is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.

Other finalists for 2022 were:

  • "American Dirt," by Jeanine Cummins (386 pages) Lydia Quixano Pérez, a bookstore owner in Acapulco, saves her son Luca from a massacre that wipes out their entire family at a quinceañera cookout. The perpetrators are three sicarios, killers for Los Jardineros, a violent local cartel. Javier Crespo Fuentes, Lydia’s close friend and the jefe of Los Jardineros, ordered the hit in retaliation for an exposé written by Lydia’s husband, a journalist. Javier’s murderous rage stems not from the article itself, but from the impact it has on his daughter, Marta, who commits suicide when she learns of her father’s true identity. Lydia and Luca spend the rest of the novel running from Javier’s men, encountering a diverse cast of migrants along the road to the US. 
  • "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee (323 pages) Voted the best book published in the past 125 years by New York Time’s readers. As one critic says, “When you revisit in adulthood a book that you last read in childhood, you will likely experience two broad categories of observation: ‘Oh yeah, I remember this part,’ and ‘Whoa, I never noticed that part.’ That’s what I expected when I picked up ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

About Crete Reads!

The Crete Reads! program is a community-wide, year-long series of events, activities, and learning opportunities related to the content and themes of one book chosen by public vote from a shortlist of finalists. Community members and library patrons are encouraged to read the book and participate in the related programming throughout the year.

There are two main goals for Crete Reads!: 1) encourage reading among people of all ages; and 2) bring the community together through a shared, common experience. Planned events and speakers during the year are centered around themes of the book.

A committee of nine community members determines the parameters of Crete Reads!, as well as the short-list of books that are put to a public vote.

Multiple copies in a variety of formats will be available at the library: regular print, large print, Spanish, AudioBook, eBook, and eAudioBook. If a book club would like multiple copies, contact the library and staff can reserve them.

The inaugural CreteReads! book selection in 2021 was "News of the World," by Paulette Jiles. Several events were held at the library in connection with themes of the book:

  • virtual talk with Dr. Joaquin Rivaya-Martinez, about captivity among the Comanche;
  • showing of "The Searchers" with John Wayne and Natalie Wood;
  • speaker Todd Sears, Crete native and former publisher of the Omaha World-Herald, who discussed changes in newspapers through time, public discourse in the book vs today, choice of coverage picked by Captain Kidd vs today, and Kidd’s mission compared with those of journalists.