‘Marshall County Reads’ will distribute more than 1,000 books to students county-wide

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- A group of organizations in Marshall County got together to get teens reading in an initiative that when it's done, will put hundreds of books in students' hands across the county.

"It's Marshall County Reads," explained Guntersville Public Library director Beth Wheeler-Dean, "This is the first cooperative program of the five rotary clubs based in Marshall County, Alabama."  All of the clubs and the library came together to put books in students' hands across the county.

"We have purchased books for every 11th grader in all of the schools in Marshall County. The book we selected is `All Over but the Shoutin'' by Rick Bragg," Wheeler-Dean explained.

Author Bragg is a northeast Alabama native and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. The students will cover the book in class. "We will also have Mr. Bragg come speak to all of the students on March 1," Wheeler-Dean added.

A goal behind the initiative is to get teens interested. Organizers say they're hoping the message from such a well-known writer from the state of Alabama will stay with the students. "I think his story, I know it touched me when I read it when it was first published, and there is a lot of meat in it that 11th graders will use in their lifetimes," Wheeler-Dean said.

She and other members will distribute the books - more than 1000 of them - to the schools when they're back in session.

There will also be a book signing for adults on March 1 after Bragg speaks to the students at Albertville High School.