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By MATT CRANE
Starkville Reads will host author Julie Cantrell 7 p.m. Thursday at the Starkville Public Library as a part of the organizationâ€™s July summer reading series.
Starkville Reads President Marty Friend said she and the rest of her committee are excited about Cantrell leading the discussion of her book â€śInto the Free,â€ť and the recognition the author has received on a national level.
â€śItâ€™s been a while since weâ€™ve had the writer do one of our programs,â€ť Friend said. â€śWeâ€™re just excited about her being a Mississippi writer, and we got her at a really good time.â€ť
Cantrell has reached the best-seller lists of both the New York Times and USA Today since releasing her first novel on Feb. 1, 2012.
According to Cantrellâ€™s website, â€śInto the Freeâ€ť follows the story of Millie Reynolds as she confronts her familyâ€™s destructive past, and tries to blaze a new trail of freedom for herself.
Starkville Reads Vice President Hellen Polk said she thoroughly enjoyed the novel.
â€śItâ€™s an exceptionally good coming of age story set in Mississippi during the 1940s,â€ť Polk said. â€śAnytime we can have the author come and discuss her work, itâ€™s thrilling to have her perspective, and itâ€™s such a wonderful way to opportunity to support Mississippi.â€ť
Friend said the discussion Thursday is open to anyone from those who have read the book to those who have not, and even for people currently reading the novel.
â€śItâ€™s perfect for adults and young readers because itâ€™s a great book with a great story,â€ť Friend said. â€śThere are questions provided at the end of the book that are perfect for book clubs and discussion groups.â€ť
Friend said there are talks of the novel being turned into a feature film.
Along with the discussion Thursday, Friend said light refreshments will be served, and guests will have the opportunity to sign up and register for a door prize to be given away at the end of the evening, which will be a brand new Kindle electronic reading device.
Starkville Reads is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting books and reading.
It sponsors numerous programs each year and distributes books to area schools, libraries, and other venues. Starkville Reads is grateful to the Starkville Rotary Club and to the Starkville Area Arts Council for grants as well as to numerous individuals for contributions. Those wishing to make a tax-free contribution to Starkville Reads may mail a check to Starkville Reads, P.O. Box 80100, Starkville, MS 39759.
For information about Starkville Reads and the upcoming event featuring â€śInto the Freeâ€ť by Julie Cantrell, visits the Starkville Reads website at http://www.starkvillereads.org.
For more information about Cantrell, visit http://www.juliecantrell.wordpress.com.