JMRL’s Eleventh Annual NEA Big Read: “Silver Sparrow” by Tayari Jones


The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library invites all readers to participate in a month-long community event that will be held during March 2017. JMRL is once again partnering with the National Endowment for the Arts in the library’s 11th annual NEA Big Read.

The NEA Big Read concept is simple: to have as many people as possible in our community reading and discussing the same book at the same time. This year, that book is Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.

What is the book about? Two families with teenage girls in 1980s Atlanta live very different lives but share one thing: James Witherspoon, who is married to two different women. One mother and daughter know James’ secret. Join your neighbors in exploring secret families, STEM education for girls, and other themes inspired by the book.

JMRL will be hosting many free community events and discussions about the book and its themes at all library branches. The schedule of events for the 2017 NEA Big Read can be found at

Don’t miss your chance to meet the author, Tayari Jones, at Northside Library on Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m. or at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on Saturday, March 18 at 6 p.m.

The National Endowment for the Arts launched the NEA Big Read after a survey in 2004 showed a decline in the reading of literature. Less than half of American adults read literature, according to the report. The NEA Big Read is presented in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read is also supported by the Art and Jane Hess Fund of the Library Endowment.

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