Maine Humanities Council Selects Book for 2017 Route One Reads Initiative

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May 19, 2017—Portland—For the third consecutive year, the Maine Humanities Council will participate in the Route One Reads initiative, a program under the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2017, the theme of the initiative will be memoirs and biographies, and the selected book to represent Maine is Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup.

After Kate Braestrup’s husband, a Maine state trooper, was killed in an accident, she was left stunned and grieving with four young children. In rebuilding her life she becomes Chaplain for the Maine Game Warden Service. In that capacity she found a most unusual mission: serving as the minister on search and rescue missions in the Maine woods, giving comfort to people whose loved ones are missing, and to the wardens who sometimes have to deal with awful outcomes. She comes to discover that giving comfort is both a high calling and a precious gift.

In her account of her own life and the events of her unusual job, sometimes joyful, sometimes heartbreaking, Braestrup is warm, unsentimental, and generous. Here If You Need Me is a funny, frank, and deeply moving story of faith and hope.

“There are so many powerful memoirs and biographies written by Maine authors it was difficult to select just one,” said Lizz Sinclair, Director of Programs for the Maine Humanities Council. “When we asked some librarians for suggestions, Here If You Need Me kept coming up. It offers a glimpse into the intensity, emotion, dedication, and skill of Maine’s Game Wardens, and their chaplains, on search and rescue missions. This, her humor, and her own search for direction after suffering a great loss make Here If You Need Me a wonderful selection.”

The diverse reading list created by Route One Reads highlights each individual State Center for the Book while celebrating the East Coast as a whole. By participating in Route One Reads, readers can travel across 15 states and the District of Columbia without taking a single footstep, or load selected books into the car for a literary road trip. The full list of featured books for the 2017 Route One Reads initiative is available along with a map of participating states at Route1Reads.org.

Route One Reads is a partnership between the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and its affiliates in: Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Virginia; and, Washington, D.C.

 

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About Route One Reads: Connecting the 2,369 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Ft. Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida, the Route One Reads initiative is a partnership between 16 affiliate Centers for the Book to promote books that illuminate important aspects of their states or commonwealths for readers travelling the major and meandering highway. The initiative was launched at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit Route1Reads.org or follow #Route1Reads on Twitter.

About Maine Humanities Council: The Maine Humanities Council is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of Maine deepen their understanding of themselves, their communities, and the world. The Council works with volunteer literacy programs, educators, school systems and libraries to promote the power and pleasure of ideas. The Council also provides grants supporting public humanities projects throughout the state. To learn more, visit mainehumanities.org.

About the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress: Established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. It sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers and collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book is part of the Library’s National and International Outreach service unit. For more information, visit Read.gov.