May 7, 2020

Cindy Lovell, nationally recognized Mark Twain scholar, introduces the book | Local News

Mayor Andrew Hosmer reads Chapter One

Mayor Andrew Hosmer, one of the first supporters of Laconia Reads, launched on Friday, May 1, read from chapter one of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in a video posted on the Celebrate Laconia Facebook page on Sunday, May 3.

There are 35 chapters in The Adventures of Mark Twain and each week on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday a member of the community or an invited guest will read from the chapters the community has been assigned for the week.

The Laconia Reads program is a collaborative initiative. The video readings have been organized by Tara Shore, program and operations manager of the Belknap Mill and Rev. Paula Gile, the associate pastor of the Congregational Church of Laconia. Working together they read through the chapters, created an excel spreadsheet and began sending invitations to members of the community, identifying appropriate voices for Aunt Polly, mischievous Tom, his lovely heartthrob Becky Thatcher and the often-feckless Huck.

“We were all enthusiastic about the project before we met Cindy Lovell, Director of Education at Epic Flight Academy in New Smyrna Beach, Florida,” Gile said. “She is a former director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home in Hannibal, Missouri and of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. When she joined our team and shared her scholarship and love of the book, it became infectious. Cindy is the person who discovered Samuel Langhorne Clemens’s (aka Mark Twain’s) signature in the cave in Hannibal, Missouri. You can hear Dr. Lovell’s reading as she introduces us to the book.”

“Mark Twain is profiling a community where he grew up and the characters are ministers, teachers, judges and the other people who make up the fabric of a place,” Shore said. “Paula and I worked together to think about the many people who make up our community of Laconia as we assigned the readings.”

As you and your family read through The Adventures of Tom Sawyer you can send us a video or photograph that reflects your reading.

Laconia Reads is a community reading program designed to promote literacy and an appreciation for books: connecting our community through activities, book clubs, and conversation. Celebrate Laconia is partnering with the Belknap Mill, Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center, the Laconia Public Library, and the Congregational Church of Laconia UCC. For further information:

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