In December 2016, the first Paonia Reads event brought book and movie buffs together, challenging them to a read a book and then watch a movie. The community was encouraged to read Sherman Alexie's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." Then, in January, The Paradise Theatre invited participants to a free showing of the film adaptation, "Smoke Signals."

"The program was a success and we have decided to offer it again this year," says Laura Lee Yates, Paonia Library staff member and key organizer of Paonia Reads. Yates belongs to a local literary committee that is the driving force behind the event. "The collaboration we have with Delta County Libraries, Blue Sage Center for the Arts and The Paradise Theatre make it all come together," says Yates.

"We are so excited to announce this year's title, 'Wonderstruck,' " Yates comments. "We think it will appeal to a wide range of ages and interests."

According to Amazon's website, "Wonderstruck," a #1 New York Times bestseller by Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznik, tells the story of two children, Ben and Rose, who come from different worlds. "Set 50 years apart, these two independent stories -- Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures -- weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise, challenge and leave the reader breathless with wonder."

Categorized as being for young adults, the 640-page book includes over 460 pages of original artwork. "At first glance the book looks a little daunting because of its thickness," Yates admits. "Potential readers should keep in mind that well over half of the book is illustrations. I also want to point out that while it specifically targets readers ages 10 to 18, it is still a great read for adults."

The community is encouraged to read "Wonderstruck" by checking it out from any library in Delta County. There are 20 copies available for one-week checkout periods through the end of January. Additionally, Paonia Elementary School has five copies available for their fifth and sixth grade students to check out through the school.

The Paradise Theatre has secured the film, "Wonderstruck," released Oct. 20, for a free showing on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 3 p.m. "We could not make this event happen without the willingness of generous community sponsors, like The Paradise," Yates says.

Following the movie, a guided discussion will give participants the opportunity to reflect on the book, the film and the similarities or differences between the two. "The discussion is a really fun and engaging part of the process," explains Yates. "Especially with an audience ranging 10 years old and up."

Interested participants can request a copy of the book at any library or by visiting the online catalog at For more information about the event, contact Paonia Library at 399-7881.

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