EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles looking at the top local stories in 2013.
Science-fiction author Orson Scott Card participated in an exclusive live Skype talk with readers at the main branch of the Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., on Oct. 2.
The author event was part of the DelawaREADS program, in which the library partners with other local businesses and organizations to encourage the community to read.
For three months, the library promoted Card’s 1985 Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning novel “Ender’s Game,” which was released as a movie in November.
“It appeals to people who like ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Divergent,’ especially in middle and high school,” library spokeswoman Shea Alltmont said of the novel. “They can relate to the main characters, young people being asked to do grown-up things. This book is getting a lot of positive reaction and interest. It’s a quick, exciting, thrilling read, with a twist towards the end that a lot of people didn’t see coming.”
Alltmont said the library was approached by Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft in 2012 with the idea, and DelawaREADS was launched at Hayes High School and Dempsey Middle School on Aug. 23, 2013. The library had a launch party Aug. 23, and held book discussions about “Ender’s Game” on Sept. 11 and Sept. 25.
“Through our partnership, we were able to purchase as many copies of the book as we could. We bought close to a hundred books at our branch and within days, we had to refill it already. It was important for us to get the book into the hands of those that we were hoping would read this.”
On Sept. 18, 67 teens had a sleepover at the Delaware Community Center YMCA and competed in “Ender’s Game”-inspired Battle School competitions. Other events included a teen trivia night at Beehive Books on Oct. 10; an adult trivia contest at Brooklyn Heights on Oct. 15; a library teen game night Oct. 17; a dress like your favorite book character Oct. 31 at Delaware Schools; a sneak peek of “Ender’s Game” at The Strand on Oct. 31; and used books donated at Main Street Delaware’s First Friday on Nov. 1.
“We’re excited about the opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues in the community,” Alltmont said. “We want to offer these positive programs for everyone out in the community. We’re extremely proud and happy to be doing this Ender’s Game project.”
In December, Alltmont said the library “had outstanding attendance at a lot of the events” for DelawaREADS. “We found that it was really well-received in the community. We had over 1,200 people check out the Ender’s Game book to read.”
Interestingly, she said many of those who saw the movie preferred the book.
As for the Skype visit with Card, Alltmont said a couple dozen participated, asking the author about “Ender’s Game” and how he writes. “He was very open but personable,” she said.