March is national reading month and to help celebrate, The Henry Ford Museum hosted The Big Read Dearborn Kickoff held inside the museum’s Anderson Theatre on Saturday, March 8, 2014.
The Big Read Dearborn is a 10-week literary adventure held throughout the city of Dearborn focusing on Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, a tale of a heroic dog facing the choice of living in man’s world or returning to nature.
During the event, visitors were able to pick up a complimentary copy of The Call of the Wild and hear a dramatic excerpt from the book read by the Players Guild of Dearborn. Following the reading, a screening of Gold Rush starring silent film star Charlie Chaplin was shown to accompany the harsh winter theme of the book. Considered to be a film Chaplin wanted to be most remembered for follows a man that travels to the Yukon to take part in the Klondike Gold Rush.
At the end of the movie, the crowd emerged from the theatre to find the museum come to life with sights and sounds of the era from the book and film. In the Prechter Promenade, a piano player was churning out popular music from the time of the Klondike Gold Rush while kids gathered around a real dog sled to pose for pictures wearing prospector’s gear. Further down the hall was a make and take activity where kids were making coasters of Jack London’s wolf bookplate. Dearborn Public School students also contributed to the event by displaying their artwork of The Call of the Wild around the museum.
The Henry Ford and Dearborn community came together to bring the joy of reading to life. If you missed the kickoff event, there are still over 35 events to attend from lectures, films and youth events inspired by themes from the book. For instance, there’s a survival skill session for teens held at the Henry Ford Centennial Library. If you’d like to get a copy of the book to join in on this literary adventure, you can pick up a free copy in tabloid form at the Dearborn Public Library, or get an online version here. For more information on event dates, visit http://bigreaddearborn.org/events/.