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Community Read theme is mysteries

Pine River-Backus School Board members will kick off the sixth annual Community Read at the regular school board meeting Oct. 21.

For the sixth year in a row, we will join as a school community to read, enjoying the opportunities literature provides and modeling for our youth the importance of reading. Every year is a little different and this year, we’re working around a theme – mysteries!

Seventh- through 12th-graders will either read Pete Hautman’s “Blank Confession” or “Snatched.” Both include main characters who are high school students needing to understand and make decisions about real situations that include ambiguous elements.

Mr. Hautman met via Skype with English teachers and challenged them to be ready for real, but rich and rewarding discussions. Right and wrong are questioned and “sometimes the bad guy goes unpunished.” Bullying is a part of the story and both books leave the reader questioning how we treat each other and, hopefully, how we treat each other better.

Our Community Read Celebration will be Monday, Nov. 18. Not only will Pete Hautman be here to talk with our students about his books and writing, but the state commissioner of education, Brenda Cassellius, will also visit our school to learn about our Community Read and to share her thoughts about the challenges bullying creates in schools today.

While the commissioner will only be visiting with students – because of demands in her schedule – Mr. Hautman will join the community at the annual Pine River Chamber Lunch held in the PR-B Elementary gym from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you’re able to attend, you’ll get to hear Mr. Hautman speak about his book, enjoy our students’ discussion with Mr. Hautman and see student projects on display, not to mention our special lunch menu specially designed for our mystery series!

Tickets are $6 each with proceeds going to the PR-B Scholarship Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the Pine River Chamber and the Pine River-Backus School District Office. If you plan to attend, please purchase your ticket ahead of time or let us know so that we have enough meals planned. Call 587-4720.

Meanwhile, our younger students, too, will be reading mysteries! Watch for postings and updates on the following “who done its?”

• “Alphabet Mystery” – Where did the little “x” go?

• “Nate the Great Goes Undercover” – Who’s getting into Oliver’s garbage can each night?

• “Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds” – What to do when the police arrest the wrong jewelry thief?

• “The Westing Game” – How will we discover the true heir to the Westing fortune?

So, get ready to read … and feel free to read your own favorite mysteries. As you know, local libraries and our Pine River Library are filled with wonderful options by varied and diverse authors.

And, if you’ve not had a chance to try the new 3M Cloud and online books, I encourage you to take a peek!

Proud to be PR-B!