The Big Read

Thanks to everyone who made the 2015 Big Read a great success.

Into the Beautiful North
by Luis Alberto Urrea


cover_into_the_beautiful_northInto the Beautiful North is the story of a group of young people from a small town in southern Mexico who go on a quest to save their town from banditos. Luis Alberto Urrea explores, with compassion and humor, the micro-cultures within the border world, from the residents of the Tijuana garbage dump to the upscale neighborhoods of San Diego, and reveals that the distance between them is not as great as one might initially imagine.




The 2015 Big Read Schedule of Events

Thursday, January 8
Kickoff Fiesta
Join us for traditional Mexican food, music, games, and an introduction to Into the Beautiful North by Fishtrap staff.
Joseph Community Center
6-8pm – Free and open to the public
Food Available for purchase by El Bajio

Our Kickoff Fiesta is an opportunity to celebrate the culture and customs of Mexico with food, music, games, and dancing. Events will continue throughout January and February with book discussions, movie screenings, a presentation by Portland’s Milagro Theater, and a big Finale Sunday, February 8 with author Luis Alberto Urrea. Fishtrap will provide free books to schools, libraries and the general public throughout Wallowa County. We hope you pick up a copy and join in.

Thursday, January 15
Movie: The Magnificent Seven
OK Theatre – Enterprise
7pm – Free Admission

Monday, January 19 at 10am
Book Club Discussion – Into the Beautiful North
Fishtrap House
400 E Grant St. Enterprise

Tuesday, January 20 at Noon
Josephy Center Book Discussion – Into the Beautiful North
403 North Main Street – Joseph

Thursday, January 22
Movie: Under the Same Moon
TWO LOCATIONS: The Josephy Center & Wallowa City Hall
7pm – Free Admission

Thursday, January 29
Presentation: US and Mexico Border History w/ Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Fishtrap House – Enterprise
7pm – Free Admission

Saturday, February 7
Milagro Theater Community Workshop

Stage One – Enterprise
$10 – limited to 25 participants
contact Mike Midlo to reserve your seat: – 541-426-3623

Milagro Theater’s production of Searching for Aztlan
OK Theatre – Enterprise
3pm matinee – Free Admission

Portland’s Milagro Theater celebrates The Big Read with their traveling production of Searching for Aztlán. The play starts in January 2012 the Tucson school board . Searching for Aztlán begins with Tucson, Arizona’s school board’s decision to shut down Mexican American Studies and “remove” its books from classrooms. The main character Dolores becomes unemployed as a giant dust storm, a haboob, hits the city. Here, she finds herself lost in the desert, on a quest in search of the mythical city of Aztlan. In this journey of discovery she will join forces with her new comrades, who bring to the quest their own historical perspectives of cultural identity.

Sunday, February 8
Finale with author Luis Alberto Urrea
Potluck with tamales provided by La Laguna
Hurricane Creek Grange Hall – Joseph
$5 youth – $10 adults – $25 family
*get your tickets at The Book Loft and at Fishtrap

CLICK HERE to visit The Big Read web site and learn more about Into the Beautiful North.

Luis Alberto Urrea.

Luis Alberto Urrea. (Nicole Waite Photography)

Since Fishtrap was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to conduct a pilot Big Read program in 2006, residents from throughout Wallowa County have come together to read and celebrate a different work of literature each winter.  The month-long program includes distribution of free copies of the selected book, discussion groups, school presentations, art projects, lectures, films and the ever-present Wallowa County potlucks.  We have read many books, most recently we read True Grit, by Charles Portis.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. Fishtrap was one of 77 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2013 and June 2014.  We have received another NEA grant to support the Big Read program in 2015. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Want to get involved?  Contact Fishtrap Program Manager, Mike Midlo.




Thank you to the many individual donors and local sponsors who helped make The Big Read possible.