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The Girl Before: get your copy now!

Community Discussion: November 8 @ 6:30 pm

Author Visit: November 12 @ 11:00 am

We are thrilled to see our stack of books dwindling and the amount of feedback growing for our Community Read book, The Girl Before.

So what is a Community Read, you ask?

Our Community Read found its roots in the One Book, One Community program that has been sweeping communities, states and the nation. In fact, last year, William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace was chosen for South Dakota’s state read and our first Community Read.

This year’s novel comes to us from Minnesota native, Rena Olsen. Ms. Olsen currently works in Des Moines, Iowa, as a licensed therapist. Her expertise in her field is obvious in the writing of her debut novel, which “unpeels the layers of” the main character’s  “fractured life.”

On the tail end of putting Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance to rest, this novel makes a compelling topic for parents, youth and community. Through our Community Read, we hope to touch as many lives as possible with the shared experience of reading this timely book, while hosting discussion opportunities for people to gain a stronger sense of support and community. This is the nature of a One Book, One Community program, and we hope your participation will make it a success.

We have a few books left at the library for interested readers. These books are free and yours to keep. However if you do not wish to keep the novel, or if you know of someone else who would enjoy it, please return it to the library or pass it on. For those who want to keep their copy, Rena Olsen will be at Meinders for an Author Meet and Greet and book signing on November 12 at 11:00am.

You are also encouraged to stop by the library on Tuesday, November 8, to discuss the book with other community members. This informal gathering begins at 6:30pm and is the perfect end to a day of voting and turkey dinner at the Methodist Church.

A big thanks goes to Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Foundation for generously supporting this free, community event. We couldn’t have done it without them!



Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.