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The Big Read Returns to Wichita, Beginning February 12

Contact: City Communications |

The Wichita Public Library and its community partners will kick off the 2022 NEA Big Read: Wichita at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 12 through a Facebook Live kickoff party accessible through The Big Read Wichita and Wichita Public Library pages.

This year's book is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. It tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. The story of Esperanza's childhood is told through a series of heartbreaking and joyous vignettes and discusses childhood and self-discovery.

Art and cultural programming will take place at the kickoff celebration February 12, featuring music, reader's theatre and more. Residents should watch the virtual kickoff party to see where they can go to get a free copy of the book from 5-6:30 p.m. later that evening.

During the Big Read, the Library and area partners will host programming related to the themes, plot, setting and characters of the book. Featured events include a keynote featuring Kansas Poet Laureate Huascar Medina, 2:30 p.m. March 13 at the Advanced Learning Library; a virtual film festival by featuring films about Mexican-American culture the weekend of March 5; and a keynote with author Sarah Smarsh 6 p.m. May 5 at the Advanced Learning Library.

The National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest granted the Library a $20,000 grant to host this year's Big Read. This is the 14th year the Library and community partners have presented this program in Wichita. The Big Read brings together schools, libraries, cultural organizations, businesses and book clubs to celebrate literacy and learning through a common book.

More information can be found at

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