Join Charlotte Mecklenburg Library for Week 1 of Community Read

Ready, Set, Go! Join the biggest book club ever!

February 28, 2019

Community Read is here! This is Week 1 of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s biggest community-wide book club. It’s not too late to join in. Read the books, share your thoughts and create a better community. Everyone in Charlotte is participating, so don’t miss out! 

Open Books. Open Minds.

This year’s Community Read is nothing like before. It is bigger, bolder and better with important topics to discuss, more than 30 community partners involved and plenty of ways to get engaged. Together with our sponsors, the Library is excited about the book selections and the program lineup during March.  

The main title for Community Read is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The New York Times best-selling, award-winning novel deals with the sometimes controversial issues that are important nationally and locally in the Charlotte community. This year’s complete selection of companion titles with related themes are:

  • For adults and teens: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
  • For middle grades:  Wishtree by Katherine Applegate 
  • For young children:  Love by Matt de la Peña 

The Library’s goal is to engage 10% of the Charlotte community – 100,000 people – with Community Read. Be part of the community’s biggest book club.

Step 1 – Pledge to participate

Community Read is for everyone. Everyone is invited to take part in this year’s Community Read. Pledge online and start participating.

Step 2 – Read the books   

All three titles are available at Library locations in print and digital formats. Looking to read online? There’s no wait as the Library expanded its digital license to permit simultaneous downloads of audiobooks and e-books during the month of March for The Hate U Give.

Additionally, generous investments from presenting sponsor Bank of America and from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and Foundation For The Carolinas allowed for the purchase of more than 2,000 copies that were distributed at Library and partner locations, while supplies last. 

Step 3 – Share your thoughts by attending Library and/or Partner Programs

There are many conversations, events and programs taking place around The Hate U Give and its relevant themes during Week 1. Join a conversation, use your voice and help change the narrative of our community. Below is a listing of just some of the events going on around Mecklenburg County:

Adults and teens: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

Community Read: From Page to Screen: The Hate U Give
Saturday, March 2, 2019 – 10 a.m. at IB Community Room at Independence Regional
Whether you already love the book or want to watch the movie before reading it, join us for the film adaptation of The Hate U Give. See the story brought to life! This movie is rated PG-13. Learn more

Family First: I Wrote My Way Out 
Saturday, March 2, 2019 – 11 a.m. at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
for ages 12-21
$5/Free for Members

This is a writing and performance-focused Family First Workshop led by Guerilla Poets. Using Tupac’s writings and lyrics, teens and young adults will learn writing techniques they can use to create a toolkit for dealing with trauma. Learn more

Community Read Film Series: The Hate U Give
Sunday, March 3, 2019 – 1 p.m. at The Wells Fargo Playhouse at ImaginOn:
oin us for our Community Read Film Series, movies related to the themes found in this year's Community Read selection The Hate U Give. Learn more

Film Screening and Discussion
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 4:30 p.m. at Johnson C. Smith University, James B. Duke Memorial Library. RSVP and questions to [email protected] or call 704-371-6740
Watch The Hate U Give film from 4:30-6:45 p.m. Program follows the film at 7 p.m. and includes a brief overview of the book, then a presentation by  Toussaint Romain, followed by questions and answers. The evening will end with a LIVE podcast from 8:15 p.m. - 9 p.m. Mastermind Podcast will capture people’s comments and reactions to the book and movie. Learn more

Central Piedmont READS
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 11 a.m. at Central Piedmont Community College – Cato Campus, Cato III-CT024 lower level Auditorium. Free with registration
CP Reads will host book discussions on each of its six campuses. Faculty and staff will be able to register for these events in LearnerWeb to receive PD credits. Learn more

K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace Talk Back
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 12 p.m. at Levine Museum of the New South.
Free with registration Adults, Teens (12-18)
K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace is a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and in Charlotte. At the Levine Museum of the New South, participants will tour the K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace exhibit in a self-guided experience for 30 minutes, which will be followed by a 30-minute reflective conversation, a Talk Back, with a Levine Museum of the New South educator. Learrn more

Self Care is Revolutionary
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 10 a.m. at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
$5/Free for Members

Join visiting author Damaris Hill and CLT organizations for a day focused on using arts and literature to align on mind and body and address issues within our community. Yoga, writing and storytelling workshops.

Middle Grades: Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Community Read: Drop-in Wishtree activity
Friday, March 1, 2019 – All day at Morrison Regional
Come write a wish to put on our Wishtree! We will collect all the wishes to create an art piece at the end of March. Learn more

Community Read: Wishtree Book Discussion for Seniors 55+
Friday, March 8, 2019 – 2 p.m. Davidson Meeting Room at Davidson
Join the library and other seniors to discuss Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. Refreshments and extension activity included. Learn more

Community Read: Wishtree School-Aged Nature Journal Program
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 1 p.m. at University City Regional
Develop literacy and critical thinking skills through books and hands-on activities. This month the theme will be our Community Read selection, Wishtree. Learn more

Children: Love by Matt de la Peña 

Community Read: The "Love" Scavenger Hunt
Friday, March 1, 2019 – All day at Myers Park
Drop in and participate in our special literacy scavenger hunt activity inspired the children's picture book "Love" by Matt de la Peña. Complete this activity and receive a prize! Learn more

Community Read Community Helper Storytime: Love
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. at Sugar Creek
Bring the family and join us as we read Love by Matt de la Peña and other stories with your favorite community helpers. Learn more

Community Read Family Storytime: Love
Thursday, March 7, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. Meeting Room at Scaleybark
Bring the family and join us as we read Love by Matt de la Peña. We will also have songs, rhymes, and movement activities featuring love in all its different forms. Learn more

Community Read Family Storytime: Love
Friday, March 8, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. Spangler Library at ImaginOn
ring the  family to enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities that support early literacy skill development and help foster a love of books and reading in your child. Learn more

Step 4 – Engage on social media

Share the news on social media. Be sure to tag #CommunityRead2019 and keep the discussion going.

Step 5 – Celebrate the love of reading

Invite your friends and family to participate. Make new friends. Join book club discussions hosted around our community or start your own book club. Visit to learn more. The Library has sets of The Hate U Give available for loan to book clubs and other groups. These kits include 10 copies of the book as well as discussion guides and other resources. Learn more here

Organizations can also get involved by participating in library programs, taking the pledge and recording their program information on the Library website at Community Read Partners. Once your group or book club has read the book, please tell us about it! Complete this form so we can include your group in our overall count of Community Read participants.

Spread the word about Community Read 2019 to family and friends and invite them to participate. We’ll see you at an event or program in March.

Community Read is presented by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in collaboration with more than 30 community partners, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Community Building Initiative and many more. A complete list can be found on