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Lexington Reads March 2015: The Stories We Share

Tales for the young & young at heart

The 2015 Lexington Reads book selection is The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Image from the original bookL. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” is an American classic, combining adventure, friendship, terror, and the longing for home. The story of a little girl from Kansas, her magical friends, and their journey through a strange land continues to captivate and inspire 115 years after its publication.

Published in 1900, it has never gone out of print and has been translated to more than fifty languages. “The Wizard of Oz” is often considered the first American fairy tale, combining classic elements of European stories with American touchstones like farming and industrialization.

It asks us to find the magic in the everyday, from a scarecrow to a pair of shoes.  It allows us to explore our fears, whether they are flying monkeys, being far from home, or having to trust our friends.  It reminds us that there is always something at the end of the yellow brick road, and, of course, that there is no place like home.  

Join us as we explore Oz and the many ways this story has shaped our world.  Books are available at the library and via the Minuteman Library Network. Copies are available for purchase at local bookstores, including The Elephant’s Trunk in Lexington Center.

Illustrations from the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz bookLexington Reads Speakers & Events

Wednesday  March 4, 7 PM
Artist Sally Mavor
Large Meeting Room

Local artist Salley Mavor of Wee Folk Studios, whose work is on display throughout March in the Large Meeting Room Gallery, discusses how nursery rhymes inspire her work. Her hand–sewn fabric reliefs depict in exacting detail these traditional stories.  No registration required.  

Friday, March 6, 6 - 8 PM
Fairy Tale Ball
Cary Memorial Library

Come in costume and dance and play the night away!  This special after-hours event is a first for Cary Library.  Featuring a wide variety of activities for the whole family, there will be crafts, games, stories, and lots of fun for all ages.  It will be a night unlike any other at Cary, don't miss it!  This event is open to all ages! No tickets or registration required.

Saturday, March 7, 8 PM
Gregory Maguire (Hosted by Cary Lecture Series)
Clarke Middle School
Tickets available through

Gregory Maguire, the beloved author of Wicked, the book turned Broadway sensation will speak at Clarke Middle School as part of Cary Lecture Series, co-sponsored by Cary Memorial Library. Mr. Maguire will discuss his inspiration from the Oz books of his childhood, as well as his lifelong passion of children’s literacy.

Thursday, March 12, 7 PM
 Wizard of Oz screening
Lexington Venue

Watch the classic 1939 film version of the Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland at the Lexington Venue! Costumes are encouraged. Free tickets will be available at the Lexington Venue starting March 1. All tickets are void after 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, March 14, 10 AM- Noon
Friends of the Library Book Lovers’ Brunch featuring special guest Michael Patrick Hearn
Large Meeting Room

Michael Patrick Hearn is a literary scholar and leading expert on all things Oz. He is the editor of The Annotated Wizard of Oz as well as an upcoming biography of L. Frank Baum. Registration will begin February 23, 2014. Please call the reference desk at 781-862-6288 ext 250 to sign up. You may sign up for yourself and one guest. 

Wednesday, March 18, 7 PM
An Evening of Ghost Stories and Haunted Places with Jeff Belanger
Large Meeting Room

Stories of monsters, ghosts, and paranormal legends exist in cultures all over the world. These are stories that have seeped into our folklore, religion, and even our history books. Join us for a fun filled evening with Jeff Belanger, the Emmy-nominated Host of New England Legendson PBS, founder, writer for Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, and a 2014 TEDx New York City presenter as we explore the supernatural stories we share.

Saturday, March 21st, 3 PM
Tales of Enchantment [ages 4 & up] with Diane Edgecomb
Large Meeting Room

Enter the world of fairy tales where magic is only a moment away and lessons about how to live are expressed through vivid symbols. Award-winning storyteller Diane Edgecomb brings to life classic fairy tales and an unusual "Jack" tale in this performance for families. Space is limited, free tickets available in the Cary Children's Room beginning at 7 PM on Monday, March 9th. Phone reservations begin at 7:30 PM.

Sunday, March 22, 2 PM
An Academic’s View of Fairtyales: John Cech
Large Meeting Room

Why are fairy tales among the most important features on the landscape of our cultural imaginations?  Why have these ancient stories remained essential reading, not only for children, but also for their parents and other adults?  And why, despite all the controversies that have been associated with them, have fairy tales become a seemingly inexhaustible, omnipresent, go-to creative source?   

Join John Cech, author and the Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture at the University of Florida, to explore some of the reasons why fairy tales continue to weave their spells over us, and why they continue to be told, retold, and reimagined in print, comics, film, photography, music, theater, and dance for thousands of years. 

No registration necessary.

Thursday, March 26, 7 PM
Page to Screen: Adapting Books into Film with Micheal Flaherty
Large Meeting Room

Lexington native Micheal Flaherty discusses the challenges of adapting beloved classics into film. Micheal Flaherty co-founded Walden Media in his Lexington apartment with his big brother and college roommate in 1999.  Since that time Walden has made over 40 films that have grossed more than $3 billion at the global box-office.  Many of these films are based on books recommended by his wife Kelly, a former elementary school teacher and current board member of the Library.  Holes, Bridge to Terabithea, The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte's Web, Because of Winn Dixie and are just a sample of the classic books that Walden has brought to the screen.  Mr. Flaherty will discussing these stories and also show a sneak preview of The Great Gilly Hopkins, the first film he has produced with his new company, Good Thief Media.

Saturday, March 28 1 PM
The Enduring Legacy of the Wizard of Oz: A discussion with Willard Carroll
Large Meeting Room

 Willard Carroll owns the world’s largest collection of Oz memorabilia and is the founder of the National Oz Museum in Camden, Maine. He joins us to discuss the enduring popularity and legacy of the Oz stories, as well as sharing stories about his extensive collection. No registration necessary.

Monday, March 30 7 PM
Oz Trivia Night
Large Meeting Room

Test your knowledge of all things Oz as we celebrate the end of Lexington Reads. Winners will receive a Wizard of Oz themed gift bag with special prizes! 

Lexington Reads Film Festival

The story of the Wizard of Oz has been made and remade into movies many times.  Come see five verisions and compare them to each other and the book!

Monday, March 2nd,  4 PM [rated PG]
Thursday, March 5th, 4 PM [rated TV PG]
Sunday, March 8th, 2:30 PM [rated G]
Monday, March 16th, 6 PM [rated PG]
Thursday, March 19th, 6 PM [rated PG]
Sudnay, March 29th, 2:30 PM [rated G]