Everybody Reads 2012 gets going with Heidi Durrow novel

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jan. 3, 2012 — What if everybody read the same book? We'd talk to each other about issues that matter, and we'd celebrate the power of books in creating a stronger community.

For the tenth annual Everybody Reads program at Multnomah County Library, the selection is "The Girl Who Fell from the Sky" by Heidi W. Durrow.

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community in Portland, where her light brown skin, blue eyes and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

“I am thrilled and honored that The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is the Multnomah County Library's Everybody Reads 2012 selection,” says author Heidi Durrow. “My hope is that the story — set in 1980s Portland — generates lively discussions about identity and belonging in my beloved hometown.”

How to participate

  • There are several ways to participate in Everybody Reads. First, readers can borrow or download the book or audiobook from the library. Or, borrow one of the extra copies available at all Multnomah County libraries, Oregon Public Broadcasting, or Portland State University Library beginning in January (while supplies last). Readers are encouraged to share these special copies with friends, coworkers and neighbors. (Items checked out from the library must be returned or renewed as usual.)
  • Share your thoughts at a book discussion at your neighborhood library, local bookstore or elsewhere in the community.
  • Hear from author Heidi Durrow on Tuesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
  • Attend related programs and view the lists of additional books, films and resources.

Everybody Reads, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts. Additional sponsorship graciously provided by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Portland State University.

About Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services. Over 35,000 people use the library each day, either online or in person.