Battle Creek Reads 2015 

We have selected two titles for this season's Battle Creek Reads! Click here to download the discussion guide.

A Secret Gift by Ted Gup
On a cold winter seventy-seven years ago, a small ad appeared in a Canton, Ohio newspaper. Instead of goods for sales, it offered ten dollars, no strings attached, to 75 local families in distress. To receive this Depression Era manna, readers were asked to submit letters describing their down-and-out hardships and needs. Their benefactor, who used a pseudonym in the classified, was Sam Stone, the grandfather of Ted Gup, the author of this book. When Gup discovered a suitcase full of these letters, he began a quest to discover what had happened subsequently to these supplicants and, just as importantly, what had motivated his granddad to become such a real life benefactor to so many strangers.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are reminders of a turbulent past.

 Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

 Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.