WEEKEND: Events wrap up Port Townsend Teen Community Read

PORT TOWNSEND — Hundreds of Port Townsend students have been reading Blank Confession by Pete Hautman during the 2012 Port Townsend Public Library Teen Community Read.

The event culminates this weekend with a visit from Hautman and exhibits of art created by students in response to his novel — and the month kicks off with several events today and Saturday.

In addition to classroom and library workshops open only to teens, Hautman will give two public presentations at the Port Townsend High School auditorium, 1500 Van Ness St., at 9:40 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. today.

Blank Confession was based on the book Shane by Jack Schaefer, which was made into a film that won an Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1954.

Teens are invited to eat pizza and watch the movie with Hautman and local filmmaker Andrew Burke at the library’s learning center, 1256 Lawrence St., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today.


On Saturday, teen artwork inspired by Blank Confession will join the Port Townsend Gallery Walk.

Created in workshops led by artists Kimberly Augustine, Margie McDonald, Janna Marit and Molly Riverstone, the art is exhibited at Undertown Coffee, Jefferson Community School and The Boiler Room throughout the month.

Written responses to the book were created by eighth-graders during classroom workshops led by writer Sheila Bender.

They will be compiled in a zine and available at the library in early June.

Hautman recently won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young People’s Literature for his novel The Big Crunch.

In late March, the library distributed 450 free copies of Blank Confession to local teens in grades eight through 12.

After reading it, students participated in April workshops, led by local writers and artists, to explore its topics of bullying, domestic violence and drug abuse.

In book discussions, students also observed the book’s underlying themes of friendship, transformation and making a difference.

Teens also took part in a contest to create a musical play list to accompany the novel.

Hautman will announce the winner today.

Funding for the Teen Community Read is provided by a two-year grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

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