History: Reading program highlights JFK

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For this year’s Westminster Reads project, the focus is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

To celebrate his life, the project is taking on the book Jack 1939, a fiction thriller about John F. Kennedy’s European adventures in 1939, written by Francine Mathews.

The story unfolds around the time when Jack, which is a common nickname for John and was the name family and friends often used, takes on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war.

Kathe Gibb, a librarian at College Hill Library, said the focus of the project is on the life of John F. Kennedy, and although the book is a fictional account, Gibbs said it is a fun, thrilling and very readable book.

“The author Francine Mathews lives in the Denver area and is a former CIA analyst. She’s written several other books and mysteries,” Gibb said. “I read the book last year and loved it. It’s really interesting and I also learned a lot about the Kennedy family.”

The purpose of the Westminster Reads project is promote reading in the community and give an opportunity for patrons to take a look back at history, Gibb said. And for the younger generations, it’s a time to learn about a tragic event. Gibb said she can remember in detail when and where she was when John F. Kennedy was shot and many other people have their own strong memories of that day.

“For the baby boomers, the assassination was their first national tragedy,” she said. “It’s so important for younger people who weren’t alive to know about John Kennedy because he changed the nation. He was the voice of the new generation.”

Both College Hill and Irving Street Libraries have stocked up on copies of Jack 1939 for patrons to check out and enjoy. Two book discussions are also scheduled, one 1-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at The MAC and the other 6-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at College Hill Library exploring the ins and outs of the book. Author Francine Mathews will also discuss her book during an author talk 7-8:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 at The MAC. Cost is $2 and tickets can be purchased in advance at either library or The MAC.

For more information on the Westminster Reads project, visit www.ci.westminster.co.us and click on the Libraries tab.

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