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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2006
CONTACT: Janine Langston 322-6371 

Birmingham Public Library’s Read It Forward 2006 

“Crash, Fire, Pain -  Teen Basketball Star Killed in Fiery Crash”

So begins Sharon Draper’s Tears of a Tiger, this year’s Birmingham Public Library’s Read It Forward selection.  Andy Jackson and three friends celebrate a Hazelwood High basketball victory by popping open the beer they have stashed in the trunk of Andy’s car and riding around town.  Andy, the driver, drinks the most since he is excited he will be seeing his new girlfriend Keisha later.  While laughing and joking, Andy loses control of the car and crashes it.  His best friend, Rob, is in the front seat with his feet on the dashboard.  Andy, Tyrone and B.J. are able to escape before the gas tank explodes, but Rob is trapped and dies.  The ensuing story follows the lives of everyone affected by the tragedy.  Andy bears the heaviest burden, but all of Hazelwood High’s community suffers. 

Read It Forward is a community-wide reading program encouraging teens to read.  The concept is based on Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, a story about an eighth grader who decides to change the world by doing a good deed for someone and then asks that person to “pay it forward” by doing the same for others. 

Participating is simple.  Visit any Birmingham Public Library location and pick up a free copy of Tears of a Tiger by Sharon M. Draper (while supplies last).  Read the book.  Log onto www.bplcyberteen.org, enter the book’s tracking identification number and leave a comment.  Pass the book forward for someone else to read.  Log onto the library’s web site often to track your book as it travels from reader to reader.  See what others have to say about the book.   

Read it Forward is funded in part by The Literacy Council.

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