BEFORE WE WERE YOURS BY LISA WINGATE
Through the lives of one fictional family, Before We Were Yours recounts the shameful true history of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis, which ran a black market baby business between the 1920’s and 1950. The Home provided over 5,000 orphans to well-to-do families—hiding the fact that many of the children had been stolen from poor families, desperate single mothers and maternity wards.
In Memphis, Tennessee in 1936, twelve-year-old Rill Foss must protect her four brothers and sisters when they are wrenched from their family’s shanty riverboat and taken to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. In the present day, Avery Stafford, the successful daughter of a
Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and New York Times Bestselling Author of thirty novels. Her work has won or been
CommunityREAD is a month-long community event that encourages reading and promotes the benefits of literacy. Originally created by the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation in 2003, the administration of CommunityREAD was assumed by the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library in 2012. Each year, a different book is chosen and read by community members during the month of March. Various events are planned throughout the month at the library and throughout the community. CommunityREAD 2020 and Lisa Wingate’s presentation are funded by a Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation grant, business and private sponsors, and the library’s general fund. For further information about CommunityREAD, visit www.findlaylibrary.org or call the library at 419-422-1712.
Community READ History
Community READ was started in March 2003 as a way to celebrate the Community Foundation’s ten-year anniversary, bring attention to the fact that illiteracy is an issue in Findlay and Hancock County and help promote the HancockREADS endowment fund. Local residents were asked to read and discuss a book and its related themes with friends and family during March of each year. Over the years, selected adult and children’s books have included:
Previous CommunityREAD Selection
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia (2003)
- The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews and The Traveler’s Gift by Mark Kimball Moulton (2004)
- Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam and Blueberries for the Queen by John and Katherine Patterson (2005)
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (2006)
- Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde and Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed written by Emily Pearson (2007)
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis and The Lady in the Box by Ann McGovern (2008)
- Marley & Me, Marley, A Dog Like No Other, and Bad Dog, Marley! all by John Grogan (2009)
- Teach with your Heart by Erin Gruwell, The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco and Don’t Be Silly Mrs. Millie by Judy Cox (2010)
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Best Friends Forever by Beverly Patt, A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai and Yoko’s Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells (2011)
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox (2012)
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett, The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jen Wojtowicz and Flower Garden by Even Bunting (2013)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine, Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton, and Raul Colon and Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds (2014)
- Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff, I Survived: Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis, I'm the Scariest Thing in the Jungle! by David G. Derrick, Jr., Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikaelsen (2015)
- The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart, Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown (2016)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids collection by Sean Covey (2017)
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo, Maddie’s Fridge by Lois Brandt, Wish by Barbara O’Connor, Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson (2018)
- The Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (2019), The Rabbit Listened , The Distance to Home, Lost in the Sun
In December 2011, The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation approached the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library about assuming the administration of CommunityREAD in 2013 with the understanding that the Community Foundation would continue to support CommunityREAD through the grant process. In January 2012, the library Board of Trustees approved the library becoming the program administrator.
Read-alikes for Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Orphan Train by Christina Kline
Close to aging out of the foster care system, Molly Ayer takes a position helping an elderly woman named Vivian and discovers that they are more alike than different as she helps Vivian solve a mystery from her past.
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
This is the unforgettable story of a young boy named Ernest, set during the 1909 Seattle World's Fair called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. Ernest, a half-Chinese orphan and charity student at a boarding school, has never really had a place to call home. His wealthy sponsor announces that if a home is what he wants, then that is what he will have: "Ernest will be offered as a prize in the daily raffle at the fair, advertised as, "Healthy boy to a good home for the winning ticket holder." The woman who "wins" him is the madam of a notorious brothel.
The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
When she becomes pregnant at age 15, Maggie's parents force her to give up her baby daughter Elodie. Elodie is raised in an orphanage turned psychiatric hospital until her release at age 17. Maggie, now married, reconnects with her first love and begins actively searching for her daughter, who she has never forgotten.
The Lightkeepers Daughters by Jean Pendziwol
When her late father's diaries are discovered after a tragic accident, Elizabeth, whose eyesight has failed, explores the diaries and the mysteries of the past with the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community services at Elizabeth's retirement home.