McCandless Skypes for Community Read – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

McCandless Skypes for Community Read

As part of the 2014 Community Read, sponsored by Geneva Reads, Carine McCandless will provide a rare look into the life and legacy of her brother the late Christopher Johnson McCandless, who was the subject of Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild.” The book was distributed to high school students as part of the Community Read, the theme of which this year is the outdoors and self-reliance. McCandless will share personal stories, memories, photos and a video beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, March 3. Due to inclement weather, McCandless’ talk will be via Skype to the audience located at the Pat Collins Black Box Theatre in the Geneva Community Center.

Krakauer tells the true story of how Christopher McCandless gave up most of his possessions in April 1992, donated $25,000 in savings to charity, and traveled throughout the American West and Southwest before his fateful journey to Alaska. The book sold millions of copies in the U.S. and spent 119 straight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It also is printed in 28 languages and is required reading at universities internationally, including in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Germany, Canada and France.

McCandless’ talk will conclude with a 15-minute question and answer session and book signing of “Into the Wild.” Copies will be available for purchase at the event through The College Store, a long-time Community Read partner.

Other events planned as part of the Community Read program include:
• March 6: Books and Brunch at The College Store, 51 St. Clair St. Complimentary noontime buffet of light fare and a daylong discount of 20 percent off all items in the store (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
• March 12: “Talking Wild,” a book discussion of “Into the Wild,” led by Jennifer Morris at 7 p.m., in the Geneva Public Library.
• March 24: Retired FLCC Professor Marty Dodge will present a talk, “A Tiny House on the Top of the World,” about his 2013 work at the Bushwhack Alaska Camp, at 6:30 p.m., in the Geneva Public Library.
• March 25: Literary Lecture: HWS Health Professions Adviser Scott MacPhail will present “Life and Death in the Last Frontier” with sophomore Elizabeth Lunderman. MacPhail uses “Into the Wild” in his First Year Seminar and Lunderman spent last summer in Alaska and visited McCandless’ bus. The talk will take place in the Geneva High School Library Media Center, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
• March 29: Book Fest, 12:30 to 3 p.m., at the Geneva Community Center on Carter Road. This annual event features dozens of community booths, each featuring a reading-related activity for young children.
• March 31: “Wild Inedibles,” HWS Professor of Biology Beth Newell will talk about poisonous plants at 7:30 p.m., in the South Parlor of the Presbyterian Church in Geneva at 24 Park Place.

In addition to “Into the Wild,” books appropriate to all age levels were distributed so Geneva students could take part in the Community Read.

Gifted illustrator Jim LaMarche’s “The Raft”(grades K-2) focuses on what happens when a young boy reluctantly spends the summer with his “river rat” grandma at her cabin in the woods. In the discussion guide for this book, Favaloro included recommended activities such as making one’s own raft, a field trip to the lake, and storyboarding.

“Stone Fox,” (grades 3-5) by John Reynolds Gardiner is the story of a young boy who sets his sights on winning the National Dogsled Race so he can use the prize money to save his ailing grandfather’s farm from tax collectors. In the discussion guide for Stone Fox, Favaloro recommended activities that include having students perform the story as a short play.

“Hatchet” (grades 5-8) is an exciting fictional account of how a teenage boy survives a plane crash with only a hatchet to aid his quest for food, shelter and protection.

Community Read month, which is co-sponsored by Geneva 2020, comes to a close on March 29 with Geneva Reads’ annual Book Fest at the Geneva Community Center. Books for the Community Read and Book Fest are provided by Geneva Reads, with grant money from the Wyckoff Family Foundation. Support for this year’s event is also coming from the Geneva Public Library, The Smith Center for the Arts, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and WEOS (Finger Lakes Public Radio, a service of HWS). Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union is the lead sponsor of the Book Fest. For more information, visit

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