2020 Kickoff Celebration

Malden Reads: One City, One Book presents the “NEA Big Read 2020” kickoff celebration — Saturday, January 11, 2020.

There will be a variety of activities offered throughout the day and evening to promote reading and celebrate community for the NEA Big Read: Malden, featuring the main book selection Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

AFTERNOON EVENTS at Malden Public Library

Family Movie “Abominable” – 2:00 PM
Bring the kids to see the family movie “Abominable” at the Malden Public Library beginning at 2:00PM. This animated family movie follows three teenagers on a quest to return a Yeti to his home on Mt. Everest. The film follows the themes of Fahrenheit 451 in its exploration of the importance of nature and the search for truth and peace. With a rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film runs 97 minutes and is rated PG. After the movie, pick up information and find out more about the NEA Big Read: Malden’s offerings for families in 2020. This is a free event.


Malden Historic Library Tour – 2:30PM
Take a tour through the historic wing of the Malden Public Library and discover the treasures hidden in the stacks, the stunning architecture, and the amazing art collection in the Converse Memorial Building. Constructed in 1883–85, this wing of the Malden Public Library has limited public access, so we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to see this historical building up close and learn about its history and treasures! This is a free event that will last about an hour. To reserve your spot, call the library at 781-324-0218. Be sure to cancel in advance if you cannot make it, as there is a limit of 25 people for the tour.


First Day to Check Out 2020 Book Selections

Come see the library display on its opening day and be the first to check out the 2020 main book selection, Fahrenheit 451, in English and translations in Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The children’s room will have copies of the companion books for younger readers. If you’d like an audio version or if you would like a library card, please ask at the front desk.

EVENING EVENTS at Malden Senior Center


Opening Celebration – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
This free portion of the Opening Celebration will be held at the John & Christina Markey Malden Senior Community Center and will feature live music, food samplings, community exhibit tables, readings, relevant presentations, and special activities. Learn about upcoming events for this year’s program, pick up a copy of the main book (Fahrenheit 451) or companion books, and see how others in the community have started engaging with themes of this year’s book selection. We’re excited for YOU to read the book, participate in activities and join the conversation!

Featured Activity at Opening Celebration

Traveling Poetry Emporium

Ray Bradbury wrote his blockbuster novel on a typewriter in the early 1950’s and poetry is featured in the story of Fahrenheit 451. At the NEA Big Read Opening Celebration, two members of the Traveling Poetry Emporium will be on hand to type out an original poem composed just for you, on the spot, on a topic of your choice! Visitors begin by naming any topic of their choosing. Then, an Emporium representative will compose an original poem on that subject, typed on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter. She’ll read the poem aloud and hand you the only existing copy to keep.

True Story Theater – 8:00 – 9:30 PM

This special ticketed event with limited seating will be held in the auditorium of the John & Christina Markey Senior Community Center.

With very little prep time, and a few props, the improvisational actors of True Story Theater take stories from the audience around a common theme and act them out. The results are magical! This Cambridge-based group whose mission is “to build empathy, respect, and understanding across differences that divide us, through the honoring of true life stories,” will be focusing on themes from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as they invite the audience to take part. Caution: their performances are deeply touching and funny and may cause uncontrollable laughter or tears!

The $10 tickets are limited so please purchase your tickets here through Eventbrite.



Enjoy food samplings!

All Seasons Table, Anthony’s of Malden, Chef David Stein, Hoff’s Bakery, & Shanghai Ravioli

Share in the conversation with community groups!

American Assoc. of Arab Women, Chinese Culture Connection, Friends of the Malden River/Malden Works, Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition, Haitian Community, Malden Arts, MaldenCORE, Malden Fire Department, MATV (soon to be UMA), Malden Public Library, Me2 Orchestra, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Family Outreach, North Shore Black Women’s Assoc.

At the Malden Fire Department table, you will also be able to take a photo with Deputy Fire Chief Bill Sullivan and a copy of Fahrenheit 451, and try on protective fire gear!


“Influential Books” Project Which books have been influential to you during in your life? Share the titles in a participatory art project created by local artist Karen Alzayer.

Arts & Crafts Enjoy arts & crafts led by the Malden Girl Scouts.

Traveling Poetry Emporium Have an original poem created just for you on a typewriter, celebrating that Fahrenheit 451 was written on a typewriter!

Scheduled Activities
6:30 pm
Middle school students who participated in the Mini Writers’ Den will read their original work, with choreography & movement by Monkeyhouse (www.monkeyhouselovesme.com) Malden High School jazz band

Join us in singing happy birthday to Malden Reads, and have a slice of cake celebrating our 10th anniversary year. Stay to take a photo for our new website!

7:45 pm
Prize drawing. Fill out an evaluation for a chance to win a prize inspired by Fahrenheit 451!

8 – 9:30pm
TICKETED PERFORMANCE in the auditorium: True Story Theater

Heartfelt thanks to Malden Reads Steering Committee Members, Malden High School Interact Club

…And YOU! Thank you for coming! We hope you enjoy the Kickoff Celebration and hope to see you at other events soon!

Please share your pictures on social media: @MaldenReads #maldenreads10

Find out detailed information about the NEA Big Read: Malden, and meet up with your fellow community members in a festive atmosphere!