Malden Reads mulls book selection for 2021

By Heather Barry Earlier this summer, as the Malden Reads steering committee began its book selection process for 2021, it faced a season and mood in the community and country very different from its previous ten years. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has been wracked with a coming to terms of 400 years of systemic racism, sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and brought to life by protestors from coast to coast.  These important and ongoing events informed the discussions of this year’s books. Once the book is selected, Malden Reads will invite the community of Malden to read the book and participate in a series of events related to the book’s themes. “At the end of the day, we want to point people toward a quality book with an important story that needs to be heard,” said Steering Committee member Martha Bezzat. “This particular year, we were open to themes about the ongoing crisis of racism, the trauma of the global pandemic, and resilience in communities.” She added, “The journey to […]


The Malden Mass. Memories Road Show is coming!

by Sandra Li On Monday, December 9th the Malden Reads organization held their first launch meeting at the Malden Public Library for the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show event that will be held on May 2nd. At the meeting, various other organizations across Malden were present to discuss more details in regards to the road show and volunteering. The Mass. Memories Road Show is a community history program that was first launched in 2004 and is coordinated by the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston). Since then, the event has digitized more than 11,000 photographs from across the state. The roadshow will be a capstone event for the 10th year anniversary of Malden Reads. Carolyn Goldstein, who is a representative from UMass Boston, explained that this event will be a “chance to bring people from all corners of the city together,” as it places an importance on archiving the stories and memories of residents. Goldstein presented a slideshow to all the organizations including Chinese Culture Connection, Malden Historical Society, and Massachusetts Senior Action Council, where she […]


Malden Reads catches fire: The timeless themes of Fahrenheit 451

A book that imagines a future without books inspired activities during opening-day celebrations on Jan. 11 for the tenth anniversary of Malden Reads: One City, One Book. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s landmark dystopian novel, has been selected for the “NEA Big Read: Malden 2020”  – the first time Malden Reads has picked a classic novel as a book for the entire city to read and ponder. A host of events are planned to explore the novel’s themes, including film screenings, discussions, a podcast series, youth activities, and a presentation on Bradbury’s life and influence. Copies of the book are available at the Malden Public Library, including translated print versions, audio and electronic formats. This year, Malden Reads was selected as one of only 78 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Big Read grant. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the mission of the NEA Big Read is “to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.” […]


Lunar New Year celebration kicks off Malden Reads 2019

By Frances Hui This year’s selection for Malden Reads 2019, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, was feted last month during a celebration of Lunar New Year and  the coming of the Year of Pig in a day-long event that featured Asian cultural performances, workshops, artwork exhibitions and refreshments at Malden High School.  The Jan. 26 event, sponsored by the Chinese Culture Connection (CCC), Malden Reads and the high school’s Asian Culture Club, drew more than 100 people, including Mayor Gary Christenson and other Malden officials. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is about a journey of a Li-yan, a young woman from a minority tribe in China, who gives up her child for adoption. At times, the story cuts between her life and her adopted child’s life in California. Li-yan eventually moves beyond the limited education of the rest of her community, leaves her traditional village, and begins to experience the modern world in the cities of China, where she becomes an integral part of the tea trade. The book is about many things: […]


Finalist book selections announced for Malden Reads 2019

During these fleeting months of summer, a book-loving team of Malden community members have been considering which book to choose for the 2019 Malden Reads program. Now entering its ninth year, the popular “One City, One Book” program works to promote literacy and a love of reading AND build community in the city of Malden. For the 20+ members on the Book Selection Committee, this meant reading a lot of books! The group has whittled down a list of more than 30 suggested book titles (gathered from the community) to the top four selections. Now, YOU have a chance to share your thoughts and comments on these titles as the committee considers the final pick. Detailed descriptions and reviews are provided below. Chris Kosta, a veteran on the Book Selection Committee describes the process. “The group is open-minded to book suggestions, and has thoughtful and insightful discussions about which book should be the one for this year, trying to come to a group consensus on the decision.” Karen Lynch, a new  member to the Book […]


Scoping out Malden’s Mystery Telescope

By Jennifer McClain A Malden Reads initiative that sent readers into orbit with The Martian serendipitously uncovered an astronomical mystery here on Earth. Through hosting stargazing events on Waitt’s Mount, organizers discovered that there was an antique telescope at Malden High School. Not only was the majestic antique riveting to the eye and grand in scale but, they wondered, could it also provide an excellent view of the night sky? Where did it come from? And what should be done with it? The mystery began three years ago when Malden Reads began stargazing on Waitt’s Mountain, in connection with The Martian, the novel by Andy Weir. Jodie Zalk, Malden Reads Co-Facilitator, learned that there was a telescope just gathering dust at MHS, and that this was a “telescope of historical significance.” Zalk was captivated. She attempted to research the telescope through the Blue and Gold (Malden High School’s official newspaper) and tried to follow up with local experts. She was able to determine that the instrument was made by Alvan Clark and Sons, famed optics makers of the 19th […]


Malden Reads kickoff celebrates reading, collaboration and community

For the first time in the eight-year history of the Malden Reads program, the 2018 kickoff event was held at Malden High School on Feb. 15. Usually staged in the Converse Memorial Building of the Malden Public Library, the kickoff emphasized the intergenerational nature of the book choice, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, a young adult novel that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all ages. The Malden Reads committee collaborated with the student-run Black Culture Club at Malden High School to host an event that was inclusive and celebratory as well as profoundly moving, challenging and inspiring, which reflected the book’s topical themes. “One of the things that I think is really exciting about this joint venture between Malden Reads and the high school is the way it’s showcasing student voice and issues that are relevant to students, starting some great conversations among students, educators and community members,” said Sean Walsh, Malden High School English teacher and Drama Director, who was involved in the collaborations. The event featured exhibit tables from a […]


Stories & Soup with Housing Families

The folks from Malden Reads love sharing good stories and good food with the community! Malden Reads volunteers told the “stone soup” folktale to children attending the Housing Families Saturday school program on November 18, 2017. This folktale tells about a young child who asks for a bite to eat, and through a “magic stone,” a delicious meal is created together (other cultures show soldiers or villagers; the beauty of the story is that there are so many versions!). After listening to the story, children had the opportunity to chop up vegetables and prepare soup to be enjoyed together. Volunteers also led the children in an activity of creating their own vegetable stick-puppets. Thanks to the generosity of the Malden Kiwanis, a donation of 400 books was given to the children as well. They each got to choose the books they wanted. We encourage our neighbors in Malden to consider a donation to Housing Families this holiday season, or to reach out if in need. Contact Housing Families at 781-322-9119 or through housingfamilies.org. Malden Reads is […]


Malden Reads announces 2018 book pick!

Malden Reads is pleased to announce the book selection for 2018, the eighth year of Malden’s popular “One City, One Book” program—The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The novel debuted at the top of The New York Times young adult bestseller list, recently won the Boston Globe Horn Book award, is a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and landed on the long list for the  2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in our Stars, states, “Angie Thomas has written a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time.” The Hate U Give tells the story of 16-year old Starr Carter, who straddles two worlds. She lives with her family in an urban black neighborhood that wrestles with problems of gang violence, drug addiction and poverty, while attending a private school 40 minutes away in a predominantly white, wealthy community. In the opening chapter, she leaves a party in her neighborhood with Khalil, a childhood friend. They are pulled over while driving and, […]


Video from children’s visit with author Cammie McGovern

MATV, Malden’s Media Center, is pleased to present a video from a special author visit last year to the Malden Public Schools. A preview of the video can be found at the end of this article, with a link to the full program on MATV’s website. On June 1, 2017,  Malden Reads welcomed author Cammie McGovern to a series of events in Malden. McGovern is the author of Just My Luck, a companion book for the middle grades, selected to accompany the themes of last season’s Malden Reads book selection, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman.  Just My Luck tells the story of a fourth grade boy who learns to cope with difficult family situations, such as his brother’s autism and his father’s head injury, through his kindhearted spirit and generosity.. Malden Reads hosted a reception for McGovern at the Malden High School Writers Den, a comfortable place where students can immerse themselves in writing creatively and receive tutoring. The Writers Den, a new addition to Malden High School last year, is a place to strengthen partnerships with the community through readings and programs. […]