Read and Respond: Now Read This! Community Book Read Offers Chance at $1,000 Scholarship to Ivy Tech–Northeast

NORTHEAST – Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast is launching its second-annual community reading initiative, Now Read This! 2012. Residents of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio are encouraged to read, discuss and respond creatively to Shooting Star by local author Fred McKissack Jr.

This community book read, to be conducted during the next several months, promotes literacy, dialogue about the literary work and the enjoyment of reading the same book as a community.

Ivy Tech−Northeast will also award one or more scholarships worth up to $1,000 for the best creative responses to the book. Entries can include essays, music, dance, multimedia and visual art submissions. Visit for more information about the scholarship competition. The deadline for submissions is March 22, 2012.

Shooting Star features natural-born athlete Jomo Rogers, who wants to be the “real deal” in high school football … in as little time as possible. He adopts a new workout regimen, complete with more weights, longer runs—and steroids. “High school sports are unbelievably competitive, college scholarships are gold and fame has always been an aphrodisiac. I asked myself, if someone told me they had a drug that would’ve secretly made me a few inches taller or smarter in high school, would I have taken it? As an adult, the answer came uncomfortably slow,” McKissack said. “I didn’t want to write a book that was pedantic, preachy and has an easy answer. I want the reader to absorb the complexity of the characters, as well as the situation.”

The community book read will culminate in a creative writing workshop, book-signing and reading by McKissack at the college’s Student Life Center Conference Room (SL513) on the North Campus (4900 St. Joe Road) Thursday, March 22, 2012. Creative writers at the high school level and beyond (including faculty) are invited to attend and participate in this interactive writing workshop. The author will introduce some creative writing activities and discuss his own writing process.

Paperback copies of Shooting Star are available for purchase at the college’s bookstore, The New Edition Bookstore, on the North Campus in lower level of Harshman Hall. Copies will also be available on loan or for purchase at Ivy Tech’s library on the Coliseum Campus (3800 N. Anthony Blvd.), several area libraries, and other area bookstores.

For more information about Now Read This! contact English instructor Troy Bigelow at 260-481-2203 or tbigelow@ivytech. Go to for directions to Ivy Tech’s North Campus.

About Frederick McKissack Jr.
Fredrick McKissack Jr. has nearly 20 years of experience as a writer and editor, most recently serving as an award-winning editorial writer for the Fort Wayne’s  Journal Gazette. His latest novel, Shooting Star, (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2009), is about high school football and performance-enhancing drugs. It has received starred reviews from Kirkus and the School Library Journal, as well as an enthusiastic review from Booklist. In addition to his journalistic work, Fred has written and contributed to books for young people. In 1995, he was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book awardee as co-author of Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues (Scholastic, 1994). He is also the author of Black Hoops (Scholastic, 1999), and contributed to Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice, and Life (Amistad, 2002). Recently he worked with his wife on a series of books on counting through biomes and the holidays for Enslow. McKissack is the co-author of a graphic novel, The Adventures of Deadwood Dick, based on the life of the celebrated black cowboy Nat Love (Chronicle Books, 2011).

About Ivy Tech
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech serves nearly 200,000 students annually and has campuses throughout Indiana. It functions as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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