PRESCOTT VALLEY- When deciding on a book for the innagural Community Reads at the Prescott Valley Public Library, it would have to be something related to Arizona.
Adult Service Librarians Jennifer Kim and Michele Hjorting knew they had found their book when discovering “The Fire Line” by Phoenix-based author Fernanda Santos, a story regarding the Granite Mountain Hotshots and their families.
“Once we saw this book, it was kind of a no-brainer to offer this one because it checked all the boxes,” Hjorting said.
“We just thought it was very timely and relevant,” Kim added. “What we’re hoping is just get the conversation going and also kind of just a memorial for the hotshots as well.”
The book will also serve as a way for new members of the community to learn about the tragedy and how it effected the area.
“PV (Prescott Valley) seems to be a community where a lot of newcomers are coming in and they’ve heard about the story wherever their from,” Kim said. “Now they are actually in the community. Just learning about how it impacted the community, we just think it’s really important.”
On Friday June 17th, the Prescott Valley Public Library will host a discussion with Santos followed by a panel discussion the following day with representatives from the state park, someone who helped build the memorial trail, first responders and family members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
“What we’re hoping is just to get the conversation going and also kind of just a memorial for the hotshots as well,” Kim said.
It all starts with the kickoff event on May 20th from 10am-11am where Santos will be reading a passage of the book while enjoying food and refreshments with members of the community in preparation for the upcoming events in June.
At the kickoff, the library will be raffling off the opportunity to check-out one copy of the library’s seven “The Fire Line” books. Those who don’t win will have a chance to buy the book at the event as the library hopes people will read the book and come to the discussions.
“It’s just going to be a nice social gathering where we can all just get excited about the upcoming programs in June,” Kim said.
The library received a $2,000 grant to fund the community read and the library will be seeking similar grants in the future to continue the programs.
“It’s an amazing event,” Hjorting said. “I feel it’s very unique and hopefully something we will continue.”
While the June panels will not be an open-mic discussion, the library is urging individuals to submit questions.