The Underground Railroad Is the 2018 Book Pick for Read Me Treasure Valley 

click to enlarge - Phillip Thompson of the Idaho Black History Museum said he was impressed with the Read Me Treasure Valley community-wide reading pick, The Underground Railroad. -  - MCKENZIE YOUNG
  • McKenzie Young
  • Phillip Thompson of the Idaho Black History Museum said he was impressed with the Read Me Treasure Valley community-wide reading pick, The Underground Railroad.
Phillip Thompson rarely reads novels, but he was impressed by Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.

"I was shocked at how graphic the discriptions were of the various institutions of slavery,” said Thompson, director of the Idaho Black History Museum in Boise.

Thompson was speaking at the Wednesday kickoff of Read Me Treasure Valley, a community-wide reading project with associated programming. This year, participants will read The Underground Railroad, which tells the story of Cora, a young woman escaping slavery in Georgia. Along the way she travels through the American South, experiencing different forms of slavery and white supremacy.

Boise City Council President Lauren McLean, who attended the kickoff at IBHM, said the book could start conversations about justice and equity.

"There's nothing, I think, like a book to get people to talk," she said.

Read Me Treasure Valley is put on through a partnership between the Ada Community Library, other libraries in Ada and Canyon counties and The Cabin Literary Center. In previous years, featured books have included The River Why by David James Duncan, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and Fatal Light by Richard Currey.

Whitehead himself will visit Boise on Tuesday, Feb. 13, for an appearance at The Egyptian Theatre as part of the Readings & Conversations series sponsored by The Cabin.

In addition to library reading groups, there will be recommended reading titles and programming for children and young adults, including preschool story times, after-school activities, film screenings and workshops. For more information, visit the Read Me Treasure Valley website.
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