Summer Reading: Local History & Mystery

We in Somerville are really lucky to have an incredible library with three branches that provide residents with books, resources and special events. The Teen Room at the Central Branch (79 Highland Ave.) never seems to be empty, you can reserve passes to area museums that allow you to visit for a discount and each year the library participates in Somerville Reads.

The Somerville Reads project aims to promote literacy and community engagement by getting people all over the city to read the same book. The program ends in the fall when the author visits the library.

Somerville Reads Stephen PuleoThis year’s Somerville Reads book is Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo. The book traces the incident on January 15, 1919, when 2.3 million gallons of molasses spread through the city as a 15-foot-tall wave traveling 35 miles per hour that killed 21 people. Puleo examines whether Italian anarchists or the tank’s owner, United States Industrial Alcohol (molasses was a valuable commodity at the time used to make rum), were responsible for the tragedy.

Somerville Reads Deborah KopsAnd if you have young readers, a companion Somerville Reads book, The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919 by Deborah Kops, has been selected just for them. The book, appropriate for kids ages 9-12, traces the tragic events of the Great Molasses Flood by focusing on the experiences of individuals in the area.

Both books are available at the Somerville Public Library and are the perfect companion to a day at the beach or longer summer vacation. Happy reading!

P.S. If you missed last year’s book, The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro, I recommend picking it up and then taking a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum using one of the library’s discount museum passes!

Images courtesy of the Somerville Public Library.

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