ROSWELL, Ga. — A new year means a new book for Roswell Reads, a citywide program promoting literacy and learning by reading and discussing a common book. And this year, the program has selected “Burial for a King,” by Rebecca Burns, a journalist and author who is currently the publisher for The Red & Black at the University of Georgia.
The nonfiction book chronicles the week after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination as the city of Atlanta prepared to host his funeral. Burns follows the “unlikely alliance” of former student radicals, the mayor, the police chief, black ministers, white churchgoers, Atlanta business leaders and King’s family members.
According to Burns, it was the largest funeral staged for a private U.S. citizen, with close to 150,000 people attending.
Copies of the book will be available in the Roswell libraries in print, ebook and audio formats. They will also be on sale at the Friends of the Roswell Library bookstore.
Roswell Reads will host multiple events throughout the winter and early spring to discuss the book, meet the author and tour Martin Luther King landmarks in Atlanta. The Literary Luncheon with Burns will be held March 17, while two tours will be held March 7 and 10. Additionally, Burns will hold a writing workshop at City Hall on March 16.
Luncheon tickets are $20 each, and the deadline for reservations is March 10. Likewise, tour tickets for Atlanta’s civil rights monuments cost $20, and the registration deadline is Feb. 21. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
In conjunction with “Burial for a King,” Roswell Reads has also selected a children’s book and family program for young readers. This year, they have chosen “Child of the Civil Rights Movement,” by Paula Young Shelton and Raul Colon.
Shelton, the daughter of civil rights activist Andrew Young, brings a child’s perspective to the Civil Rights Movement in this illustrated children’s book.
Roswell Reads will host a special family program for “Child of the Civil Rights Movement” on March 3 at the Roswell Library to teach children about standing up for what they believe in, along with friendship, harmony and respect. There is no charge to attend, but registration is requested.
Roswell Reads was first created in 2005 by Ann Siebert and was originally known as One City-One Read. It has since grown to include a full committee and is consistently recognized both locally and nationally for its mission.
All book selections are chosen by the 15-member Roswell Reads Steering Committee for Southern connection, subjects that stimulate discussion across a broad range of people, availability and diversity. Previous selections include “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,” by Kim Edwards; “My Name is Mary Sutter,” by Robin Oliveira; “The Underdogs,” by Melissa Fay Greene; and “Rocket Boys,” by Homer Hickam.
For information, schedules, resources and discussion questions, visit roswellreads.com.