It's the everyone is reading this month: "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" by Dr. Yvonne Thornton. It's a true life story of two African-American parents struggling to send their children to college. The book was selected for this year's African-American Read-In festival.
Hundreds of students from seven different schools participated in this year's Read-In Festival. Derien Rivers says he likes "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" already. "From what I read in the book it seems like it'll be a great book," says Rivers. "The events and things that occur and the passages are exciting."
Students from across the city met Monday for the African-American Read-In Festival at the University of Memphis. It's an organized effort to combat illiteracy. Illiteracy is a problem in our community according to Kay Shelton who works with Mid-South Reads. She says "yes literacy is low. Literacy is an issue, it always will be. But Memphis has been doing something about it over the years."
Mid-South Reads isn't just doing something. The group is doing a lot to combat illiteracy. They partnered with the African-American Read-In Festival and teamed up with the Commercial Appeal to bring excerpts of "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" to the Mid-South. The group's ultimate goal is to reach people who normally would not pick up a book. It seems to be working. "People were reading, people were talking about reading and people were reading to each other. That's what we're in this for," says Shelton.