New Rochelle Public Library’s Big Read Kick-off Party Gets Visit from Mark Twain

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Mark Twain made a big hit with participants of the New Rochelle Public Library’s Big Read Kick-off Party on Sunday, May 3rd, as he strolled around the library during the afternoon of activities reflecting 1840’s St. Petersburg, Missouri. In addition to crafts, games and refreshments, participants enjoyed presentations by Cindy Lovell, Twain historian and Executive Director of the Mark Twain Museum in Hartford, CT, as well performances by Twain impersonator Alan Kitty and members of the Big Read Reader’s Theater Troupe.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the featured title of New Rochelle’s 2015 Big Read, is being read by all ages of residents this May and June, as the library and community partners celebrate the author and his works in a variety of programs and events. 

The momentum of the Big Read launch continued the next day, when Dr. Lovell and Mr. Kitty presented an assembly program at Isaac E, Young Middle School. Over 400 sixth graders were introduced to the Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal, MO, and enjoyed a guest appearance and performance by the author “himself.” The school will be presenting a play based on the story on Friday May 29th and Saturday, May 30th, at 7:00 pm. For a full listing of all the Big Read programs, downloadable copies of the classic novel, and more resources, visit the library’s website at  \ and click on the “Big Read” logo.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. New Rochelle is one of 77 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read from September 2014 – June 2015. New Rochelle’s 2015 Big Read receives additional support from NRPL Foundation, the Friends of NRPL, and the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (BID).