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Lowell Reads Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

(June-August 2012)

Lowell Reads Great Expectations (June-August 2012): The aim of this program is to promote literacy and to foster a better sense of community by creating an opportunity for Lowellians to engage with their neighbors in a meaningful discussion. Beginning June 2nd, the Pollard Library will have book club kits available for patrons to borrow to host  discussions. In addition we will have copies of the novel in many formats for individuals to borrow. Readers can also pose questions and share their thoughts on the online discussion forum []. The library will be host to a series of in person book discussions, films, speakers and more.

About the book: Widely considered the best of Dicken’s novels, Great Expectations, tells the story of a young man named Pip and his education and ascension through the classes in Victorian England. Originally released in weekly installments between 1860-1861 the novel is full of intrigue, mystery and suspense. It unfolds in a masterful plotted scheme as engaging to modern readers as it was to those subscribers who originally read it in weekly serial format. The richly drawn characters speak highly of Dicken’s keen awareness of the universal foibles of human nature. So whether you’re reading this masterwork for the first time, or you’re reacquainting yourself with the likes of Estella, Miss Havisham, Joe Gargery and Pip join in on the conversation this summer as Lowell Reads Great Expectations.

Schedule of Events

Lowell Reads “Great Expectations” Kick-Off Event
Animal Masks Crafts Event & Movie: Disney’s Oliver & Company
Saturday, June 2nd,  10am-3pm
To kick off our Lowell Reads “Great Expectations” program the Pollard Memorial Library is teaming up with The Lowell Humane Society for a fun family event!

11am – 12pm:  Animal Masks Craft – Join us as we help you create face-masks of your
favorite animals. All children and their grown-ups are welcome. No registration required.
1pm – 3pm: Disney’s Oliver & Company Animated Feature – Directed by George
Scribner. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” Oliver is the only one of a litter of kittens who is not adopted by a human and is left to fend for himself on the streets of New York. One day he meets Dodger, a cocky terrier mix who introduces him to his friendly pack of ruff ‘n’ ready canine pickpockets. They work for their “owner,” Dorman who is paying off his debt to a local mafia-type crime boss. When a little rich girl named Jenny adopts Oliver the crime ring sees this as an opportunity and asks for ransom for the little kitten. Rated G; 73 minutes; 1996. This screening is sponsored by The Friends of the Pollard Library.

This collaboration is brought to you as part of Dickens In Lowell, a 7 month project by U- Mass Lowell and partners. The Lowell Humane Society will be on hand to discuss the plight of stray animals in our city and talk about how you can help end pet overpopulation!

The Lowell Humane Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to caring for homeless pets and does not receive any city, state or federal funding. For more information visit .

BBC’s Dickens In America and A&E Biography of Charles Dickens
Thursday, June 28th 6:30PM.
Join us as we follow Miriam Margolyes follow Charles Dickens’ route through America. We’ll be showing the portion of this 10-part BBC documentary chronicling Mr. Dicken’s trip through Boston and up to Lowell. We’ll follow this episode up with a fascinating A&E Biography epsiode featuring Charles Dickens.

Film: David Lean’s Great Expectations
Thursday, July 12th 6:30pm-8:30pm
Join us for this Academy Award winning adaptation written and directed by David Lean. Starring John Mills, Jean Simmons and Alec Guinness. Not Rated; 118 minutes; 1946. This screening is sponsored by The Friends of the Library.

Book Discussion – The First Stage of Pip’s Expectations (aka Volume 1)
Thursday, July 19th 6:30pm-7:30pm
Friday, July 20th 10am-11am
Join us at the Pollard for a discussion focused on the first volume of Great Expectations (Chapters 1-19).

Book Discussion – The Second and Third Stages of Pip’s Expectations (aka Volume 2 & 3)
Thursday, August 16th 6:30pm-7:30pm
Friday, August 17th 10am-11am
Join us at the Pollard for a discussion focused on the second and third volumes of Great Expectations (Chapters 20-59).