The Big Read

Wichita's Big Read program will take on a classic science fiction novel this year.

For its 9th year, Big Read Wichita has chosen Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451." The 1953 novel explores themes of censorship and freedom of information in a world where books are outlawed.

Luis Alberto Urrea’s 2009 Into The Beautiful North was chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts as the selection for 2015’s The Big Read. Urrea is the author of several other works, including volumes of poetry, non-fiction and memoir in addition to his eclectic works of fiction. His latest book, The Water Museum, a collection of short stories, was released earlier this year.

The City of Wichita begins its eighth year in the Big Read program with the selection of a quest novel. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has more.

The Wichita Big Read program is an annual event that encourages people to read the same book, and then take it a step further by participating in related literary and art events throughout the fall.

Wichita Public Library Director Cynthia Berner says this year’s novel is “Into the Beautiful North” by Mexican-American writer Luis Alberto Urrea.

This is the 6th year Wichita is participating in The Big Read, a celebration of literacy where communities nationwide read the same book each October.

Wichita and 77 other cities will read True Grit by Charles Portis.

First published as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post, the story follows a young woman and her journey to seek retribution for her father's murder.

Charles Scribner's Sons

At the Wichita City Council meeting Tuesday Mayor Carl Brewer announced the Big Read would return for the fifth year this fall.

This year’s selection for the Big Read will be “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and will run October 1 through November 21.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment of the Arts and is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Wichita is one of 78 communities participating in the Big Read this year, which makes the city one of the longest running Big Read communities in the nation.