CHARLES TOWN – With spring almost here, the Charles Town Library has special programs plus a new exhibit. We also recently awarded prizes for the West Virginia Reads 150 challenge.
The Charles Town Library will host author Tony Brasunas at 12:30 p.m. March 31.
His recently published book, “Double Happiness: One Man’s Tale of Love, Loss, and Wonder on the Long Roads of China” is his coming of age story.
Tony, who grew up in Jefferson County, had never left the United States nor taught a class when he arrived in hot, coastal Guangzhou, China, armed only with a beginner’s grasp of the language.
He found himself in front of 37 ninth-graders and thus his story begins. When the school year ended, with just a backpack and a handful of wild expectations, he set off alone across the vastness of China, along the Silk Road in the north and to the edge of ancient Tibet in the west.
His rugged path brought friendship, danger, romance and wild encounters with fate that transformed his basic understanding of right and wrong, beauty and love, suffering and happiness.
“Double Happiness’ is a groundbreaking story of spiritual awakening in the era of globalization. From the streets and markets of old Canton, from the curiosity and dreams of his upwardly mobile students, and from the magnificent valleys and peaks of the ancient Middle Kingdom, Brasunas weaves a masterful portrait of a changing and modern China.
Join us with a brown bag lunch as Tony Brasunas returns to his childhood library where he was first a reader, now a writer.
“Toy Soldier Dreams” is a tiny sampling of a collection of toy soldiers amassed over a lifetime by local resident Frank Surdu.
Toy soldiers have been collected since the time of the Pharaohs.
They were first made from wood, stone, clay and metal and were intended for the nobility and the wealthy. But by the end of the 18th century, when military miniatures were first mass-produced, they became available to a wider audience.
The exhibit includes a wide-range of toy soldiers with informative placards from the 19th century to the present. The exhibit will continue through early April.
Readers at the Charles Town Library who met the challenge to read 150 books or more during the yearlong celebration of West Virginia’s sesquicentennial have been awarded prizes.
Four individuals and one group completed the challenge. The top adult reader was Rosie Starling who read 300 books. Sandra Littleton read 273 books.
Two readers in the 18 years and under age bracket also met the challenge. Tevin Hart (below) read 264 books and Elisabeth Rabjohns read 150 books.Hometown Gifts and Home Depot in Ranson and Sweet Frog in Charles Town contributed prizes and Rosie Starling, library volunteer and supporter, donated two of her beautiful handmade afghans.
Congratulations to these readers. May they serve as an inspiration to all who love books and West Virginia.
–Marcella Genz is the director of the Charles Town Library at 200 E. Washington St. Reach her at 304-725-2208 or