Meet authors Stephen Puleo and Deborah Kops as part of the City’s fifth annual “Somerville Reads” program

SOMERVILLE – The Somerville Public Library launched its fifth annual “Somerville Reads” campaign this summer, selecting Dark Tide by Stephen Puleo as its highlighted 2014 book. Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community engagement by encouraging all Somerville residents to read and discuss the same book.

Dark Tide retells the events of the Great Boston Molasses flood of 1919. A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles per hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn’t known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

The companion children’s book, The Great Molasses Flood, Boston 1919 by Deborah Kops chronicles the catastrophic events for younger readers.

As part of the program, the Somerville Public Library is hosting two “Meet the Author” events in September and October, as follows:

• Meet Stephen Puleo, author of Dark Tide. Wednesday, Sept. 17. 7 p.m.
• Meet Deborah Kops, author of The Great Molasses Flood. Sunday, Sept. 21. 3 p.m.

Additionally, the Library will host “Boston, 1919,” a talk on the historical context of the Molasses Flood, by Suffolk University professor Patricia Reeves, on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. All events will be held at the Central Library, 79 Highland Ave., and are free and open to the public.

Copies of each book in a variety of formats are available for check out at all Somerville Public Library locations.

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