Jackson's 2009 Big Read book is John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, a depression-era book that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 and created a great deal of controversy. The book was banned from the public schools in one California county. The library also owns the movie version, but the movie is somewhat different from the book. An alternate suggestion, also by Steinbeck, is the Red Pony, considered by some to be his greatest work. Much of his work draws upon Steinbeck's experiences as a reporter. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.
For further detail on the background of Steinbeck's writing, try Daily life in the United States: 1920-1940: how Americans lived through the "Roaring Twenties" and the Great Depression, by David Kyvig. It has a wealth of great insight into the ways our ancestors survived and thrived in those hard times. More peeks into the past can be gained through the book Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: letters from children of the Great Depression. Mrs. Roosevelt received more than 300,000 letters from children and teenagers, many of them heart-breaking. Robert Cohen, the editor, has chosen 200 to represent the whole.
On the big screen, O Brother, where art thou? is a magical and enthralling film set during the Great Depression. The music is great, and the acting isn't bad either. This movie will lift your spirits, make you laugh, and leave you wondering. Seabiscuit is another excellent movie set in the 1930's, this one based on the true story of the great California race horse.
We also own large print and audio versions of The grapes of wrath, along with book discussion kits for it and The red pony. Pick one up today!