Weber Reads, an alliance of librarians, professors, county commissioners, teachers, book sellers, and readers of all ages and interests, has just completed its third year. We began our community reading program by journeying back to the dawn of English storytelling with the saga of Beowulf and his tormentor and victim, Grendel. During 2009, we explored the story of Mary Godwin Shelly and her tortured creations: Victor Frankenstein and his creature. This past year we have been reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, selected in part because 2010 marks the centenary of Twain's death.
The Weber Reads planning committee decided to pair Twain's books with other voices, those of slave narratives, and most prominently The Narrative of the Life of a Slave (1845) by Frederick Douglass, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) by Harriet Jacobs. This two-year program offers an opportunity to work with texts that complement and enrich one another.