February 26, 2024
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Muleshoe Area Public Library patrons can join thousands of readers worldwide in the largest global digital book club, Big Library Read, through the library. From October 1-15, book lovers can borrow, read and discuss award-winning author Katherine Locke’s “The Girl with the Red Balloon” ebook with no waitlists or holds by visiting https://westtexas.overdrive.com or downloading the Libby app. More than 19,000 libraries and schools around the world are participating.
Big Library Read is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading platform for ebooks, audiobooks and magazines available in more than 90 percent of public libraries in the U.S. and Canada. “The Girl with the Red Balloon” was chosen by a popular vote of readers and librarians.
“I grew up on family stories and, to me, they were as powerful, transformative and magical as the fiction I read in books,” Locke said. “I hope you enjoy the story, and, more importantly, I hope you swipe to the last page thinking about your family stories, the magic of your own story and the magic of storytelling.”
“The Girl with the Red Balloon” tells the story of 16-year-old Ellie Baum who accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin and becomes caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall — but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything — including her only way home — to stop the process.
“This will be the first time our community has had the opportunity to be a part of Big Library Read, and I am so excited to see our patrons participate,” said Dyan Dunagan, librarian.
Big Library Read is an international reading program that simultaneously connects millions of readers around the world with an ebook through public libraries. “The Girl with the Red Balloon” is the 17th selection of this program, which began in 2013 and takes place three times a year. Readers can join an online discussion about the book at https://discuss.biglibraryread.com/. The free program runs for two weeks and only requires a Muleshoe Area Public Library card to get started. “The Girl with the Red Balloon” can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, Chromebook™ and Kindle® (U.S. libraries only) without waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.
To join the discussion, learn about past Big Library Read ebooks and download Libby, visit biglibraryread.com.

Rhea Gonzales


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