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'Uncle Tom's Cabin' featured read for library's Bookworms


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The Jennings County Public Library is changing its meeting schedule and time for Thursday Night Bookworms.

This book club now will meet 6 to 7 p.m. the first Thursday of every month in Conference Room 4 at the Jennings County Public Library; the next meeting will be Thursday. There’s no need to register, and it’s free.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” will be the featured book for January.

Nearly every young author dreams of writing a book that will literally change the world.

A few have succeeded, and Harriet Beecher Stowe is such a marvel. Although the American anti-slavery movement had existed at least as long as the nation itself, Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1852) galvanized public opinion as nothing had before.

The book sold 10,000 copies in its first week and 300,000 in its first year. Its vivid dramatization of slavery’s cruelties so aroused readers that it is said Abraham Lincoln told Stowe her work had been a catalyst for the Civil War.

Today the novel often is labeled condescending, but its characters — Tom, Topsy, Little Eva, Eliza and the evil Simon Legree — still have the power to move our hearts.

While “Uncle Tom” has become a synonym for a fawning black yes-man, Stowe’s Tom actually is American literature’s first black hero, a man who suffers for refusing to obey his white oppressors.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is a living, relevant story, passionate in its vivid depiction of the cruelest forms of injustice and inhumanity — and the courage it takes to fight against them.

Ask for a copy of the book at the Information Desk at the Jennings County Public Library.

Teens and adults are welcome to join the book club. All you need is a love of reading and a desire to talk about books.

Ways to sign up for the club:

  • Stop in at the library’s circulation desk.
  • Call the library at 346-2091.
  • Go to jenningslib.org

Brenda Campbell is director of educational development and marketing for the Jennings County Library.

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