Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 by

Alabama’s first-ever statewide Big Read project moves into high gear next week as Big Read regional coordinators and NewSouth Books arrange for delivery of close to 12,000 copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to librarians across the state.

Move over FedEx! In keeping with the Alabama theme, the Alabama Big Read Bus has been named the delivery vehicle of choice.

The Big Read Bus will travel the state on September 10 and 11 distributing copies of a unique edition of the Mark Twain classic created especially for Alabama readers by NewSouth Books. On its two-day mission, the bus will stop at the main branches of library systems in 14 cities; local librarians will then send copies to area branches. A big banner announces the vehicle’s purpose, and plans are being made from library to library to celebrate its arrival.

According to Big Read regional coordinator Patty Pilkerton, “This is the very first time a state has published a unique edition of its Big Read book for its own audiences, so once again, Alabama is leading the way in innovative and creative programming. We are combining delivery and programming, allowing the receiving libraries to enjoy media attention. Soon readers across the entire state of Alabama will be joining together in the excitement of discovering and rediscovering The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

Libraries scheduled to receive a visit by the Big Read Bus include: Marion-Perry County Library, Marion, AL; Anniston-Calhoun Library, Anniston, AL; Ashland City Public Library, Ashland, AL; B. B. Comer Memorial Library, Sylacauga, AL; Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham, AL; Columbiana Public Library, Columbia, AL; Harrison Regional Library, Columbiana, AL; Chambers County Library, Valley, AL; Autauga Prattville Public Library, Prattville, AL; Horseshoe Bend Regional Library, Dadeville, AL; Gulf Shores Public Library, Gulf Shores, AL; Choctaw County Public Library, Butler, AL; Washington County Public Library, Chatom, AL; Juliette Hampton Morgan Library, Montgomery, AL; and Daleville Public Library, Daleville, AL.

NewSouth’s edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is unabridged and annotated, carries a foreword by local Twain scholar Alan Gribben, and includes the NEA Reader’s Guide. The book is available for purchase in trade cloth and paperback.

For more information about the Alabama Big Read Bus and its delivery schedule, please contact Lisa Harrison at NewSouth Books at 334-834-3556 or via email at info @