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2016 Read Alabama: The Tradition Continues presents new season

The 2016 Read Alabama: The Tradition Continues program will present four new authors beginning February 2, 2016. The program, in its 23rd year, continues a partnership between Bevill State Community College, Walker College Foundation, The Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, Walker County Arts Alliance, Alabama Power Company, Jasper Downtown, and New South Books. The program is held at Bevill State -Walker College Campus (Jasper) in Mathews Lecture Hall - Wade Math & Science Building. It begins at 4 p.m. with a reception at 3:30 p.m. and is free to the public.

The 2016 season includes the following authors:

February 2 - Liz Huntley - More Than a Bird

Scared, abused and taken to the limit of a person’s capacity to endure tragedy, Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley reveals the perils of a childhood that would lead most to a broken life or premature death. Liz, now a successful attorney at a prestigious southern law firm, recounts her journey from unimaginable darkness to radiance thanks to the early intervention of teachers, a pastor and caring people, strategically placed in her life by God. Decidedly unembellished, inherently poignant, More Than a Bird gives a glimpse of horror yet leaves only hope. Through her life story, Liz proves that on the wings of God, there is no height she cannot reach.

Liz is a committed child advocate and a passionate litigation attorney. She practices law at Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama and regularly serves as a motivational speaker for groups and organizations throughout the country. In addition to her corporate defense litigation practice, a significant portion of Liz' legal focus is spent representing and consulting with governmental and non-profit agencies that serve children and families.  

An inspirational leader, Liz actively participates in numerous civic and professional organizations.  Much of her volunteer time is dedicated to expanding high quality Pre-K to all four year olds in Alabama. Appointed by the Governor of Alabama, Liz also serves on the Governor's Task Force on Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Children.

Liz earned her law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law where she now serves as Chair of the Farrah Law Society Board of Trustees.  She received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University, where she is a member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees.
 
Liz and her husband Tony have three children.

February 16 - Matt Doss - The Stone of David

The descendants of Abraham, Jews, Muslims and Christians have been locked in battle for millennia, marring the earth and the face of humanity with one destructive skirmish and war after another. However, the conflicts that make the news are merely eruptions of evidence from a deeper and more sinister war that has raged uninterrupted and mostly underground since the beginning of time. At the heart of some of the world's oldest secrets, the Stone of David holds the key to a body of knowledge with the power to unravel the tidy facade of global stability and provide ultimate power to the possessor.

An unusual alliance of old enemies has carved a new facet into this landscape of power struggles. Laura Wells, a former CIA agent, and her husband Alexander, one of "The 12", are forced out of seclusion and into full conflict with those bent on igniting the tenth Crusade and WWIII. Through new alliances, uncovered secrets between them, and the use of an array of stunning technology, Laura and Alexander take the fight to the heart of this global meltdown and to the most furiously contested patch of earth that is Jerusalem.

Matt Doss has spent a lifetime gathering knowledge from his various travels and encounters with people of many cultures and backgrounds. His writings span from fiction to non-fiction, from international thrillers to inspirational reflections. His first novel, The Stone of David, received critical acclaim as one of the top 10 books of 2013 according to the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.

March 1 - Jerry Armour - A Home for Wayward Boys: The Early History of the Alabama Boys' Industrial School

When reformer Elizabeth Johnston walked among the convicts in an Alabama prison mining camp, she was stunned to see teenage boys working alongside hardened criminals. She vowed to remove youngsters from such wretched conditions by establishing a home for wayward boys. With the support of women across the state, she persuaded the legislature to establish the Alabama Boys' Industrial School in 1900. After several difficult years, Johnston and her all-female board hired a young Tennessee couple, David and Katherine Weakley, as superintendent and matron. United in their Christian faith, their love for the boys, and some basic principles on how the boys should be molded into men, Johnston and the Weakleys labored together for decades to make the school one of the nation's premier institutions of its kind. A Home for Wayward Boys is the inspiring story of the school, its leaders, and the boys who lived there.

Armor’s book traces the experience of Elizabeth Johnston including her lobbying success in convincing the Alabama Legislature to establish the Alabama Boys’ Industrial School in 1900.

Jerry Armor served seven years as a juvenile probation officer, two years as the psychologist in one of the state’s prisons, and taught 30 years at Calhoun Community College and Athens State University. Today, he directs the Lawrence County Children’s Policy Council and teaches part-time. He earned a BA, MA, and PhD from, respectively, Samford University, Troy University, and the University of Alabama. He has written extensively for both academic and general interest publications. Jerry and his wife, Judy, live in Moulton, Alabama.

March 15 - Rod Davis - South, America

On an early Sunday morning walk through the empty streets of the Faubourg Marigny downriver of the French Quarter, maverick journalist and Big Easy transplant Jack Prine discovers the body of a well-dressed black man with a bashed-in skull. Soon Jack is drawn into an emerging web of violence threatening Elle Meridian, the victim's beautiful, complicated sister, burdened with a past she can barely confess. They begin a dangerous, desperate flight through Alabama, the Delta and back to New Orleans searching and evading button men, goons, racists and family secrets. Deadly ties extend to the Dixie Mafia, priceless stolen art and debased Southern aristocracy. A final, violent showdown in the Arts District of New Orleans uncovers one last nightmarish revelation that may bind Elle, Jack, and a mob enforcer named Big Red for years to come.

Rod Davis is an award-winning author and journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications. He has served on the senior staff of several major magazines, including a stint as editor of The Texas Observer. He taught writing at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University. He is author of American Voudou: Journey into a Hidden World (UNT Press). Davis lives in San Antonio, Texas.

"This down-and-dirty yarn is a powerful evocation of pre-Katrina New Orleans and as absorbing a tale of love and evil to come out of this old town since Ace Atkins and Tony Dunbar hit the scene a few years back. “South, America” is a triumph of Southern noir, populated with characters who'll stay with you long after the last page, including sometime PI Jack Prine, Elle, his brainy and brave new love, and an all too-real supporting cast of thugs, low-lifes, and Southern degenerates. ...In South, America, Rod Davis is the new mayor of the mean streets!" -- Julie Smith, Edgar Award-winning author of the Skip Langdon and Talba Wallis series.

For more information about Read Alabama or to receive a brochure, please contact Holly Trawick at 205-310-3189 or htrawick@wcfdn.org.


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