Books & Big Ideas Community Read Program: Summer 2024 Edition Focusing on Getting There Without a Car - Check Out the Books & Events This Summer!

Illustration of colorful people reading books with text: "Books & Big Ideas: What We're Reading Summer 2024"
Grab your library card and find the perfect, shady reading nook because the Town of Kittery is kicking off the next edition of Books & Big Ideas: a Kittery Community Read program.  The program celebrates and fosters community dialogue around important themes affecting our community and those living and working within it.  Topics for the program will range from affordable housing to diversity, equity and inclusion, climate change and more.

Each topic featured as part of the Community Read will include a variety of options for fiction, non-fiction and children/young adult titles. Copies of each book will be available at the Rice Public Library, located at 8 Wentworth Street in Kittery.  Residents interested in acquiring the books included in this program should contact the library at or 207-439-1553.

Community members of all ages are encouraged to participate by reading and sharing their perspectives with friends and neighbors in local book-clubs, at one of our upcoming group discussions or public events, and on social media.  

The summer edition of Books & Big Ideas will take place from June 2024 - August 2024 and focus on the topic of Getting There Without a Car.  Through the power of literature, we will collectively learn about the importance of multimodal transportation in Kittery and our neighboring communities.

By exploring this topic and the options that already exist in Kittery, we can better understand the challenges of strategic planning and development and work together to reduce automobile dependence and increase accessible options for getting around town.

The selected titles for the Summer 2024 community read are:

Selected Titles for the Summer 2024 Read Are:Books & Big Ideas Book List for Adults

Adult Nonfiction: Pioneer on a Mountain Bike: Eight Days Through American History by Dianne Fallon
Available in print.
Adult Nonfiction: How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier and Get More Mileage Out of Life by Chris Balish
Available in print.
Adult Nonfiction: Walking to Listen by Andrew Forstheoefel
Available in print.
Adult Nonfiction: Back in the Frame: How to Get Back on Your Bike, Whatever Life Throws at You by Jools Walker
Available in print.
Adult Fiction: Spin by Peter Zheutlin
Available in print and Libby E-book.
Adult Fiction: The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
Available in regular print, large print, Book on CD and Libby E-book.
Books & Big Ideas Selected Titles for Summer 2024 - book cover images for young adultsYoung Adult Nonfiction: Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy
Available in print.
Young Adult Graphic Novel: You & a Bike & a Road by Eleanor Davis
Available in print.
Juvenile Fiction: Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss
Available in print, book on CD, CloudLibrary E-Book and CloudLibrary audiobook.
Juvenile Fiction Picture Book: Hike by Pete Oswald
Available in picture book and CloudLibrary E-book.
Juvenile Fiction Picture Book: Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan
Available in picture book.
Juvenile Fiction Picture Book: Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling
Available in picture book.

Local Links & Resources 

Calendar of Events & Activities

By reading and sharing unique perspectives about topics that affect those around us, we can find innovative and rewarding solutions to help Kittery thrive. 

Please see below for a list of events, programs and activities that explore the themes of climate action and sustainability and ways that you can participate in the conversation:

June 2024

Stay Cool & Cruise Around Kittery This Summer with COAST: Round-trip COAST Bus Passes Available at Kittery Town Hall & Kittery Community Center | Starting June 10, 2024 | While Supplies Last

What better time than summertime to dump the gas pump and ride the COAST bus instead of taking your car. The COAST bus connects people and places via routes that connect 10 communities around the Greater Seacoast area.  COAST has given over 16 million rides to people in Kittery and our neighboring communities, connecting them to work, school, medical appointments, shopping, social events and more.

Beginning June 10, 2024, the Town of Kittery will be offering FREE round-trip bus tickets to the COAST bus, while supplies last.  Here’s how to get your free round-trip ticket:

  • Visit the Kittery Town Hall Administrative Office (200 Rogers Road) or the Kittery Community Center Reception Desk (120 Rogers Road) during regular business hours to pick up a FREE round-trip ticket.
    • Town Hall Administrative Office hours are:
      • Monday – Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
      • Thursdays: 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Kittery Community Center hours are:
      • Monday – Friday: 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
      • Saturdays: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Find a route that works for you (Route 44 and Route 100 include Kittery)
  • Wait at the bus stop of your choice and board the bus when it arrives.
  • When the bus arrives, hand the bus driver your FREE ticket and then you’re off on your local adventure aboard the COAST bus.
  • Once you’ve arrived at your preferred destination, hop off the bus, enjoy your day, and hop back on the bus when you’re ready to return.

Please note: FREE Town of Kittery bus tickets are for a round-trip and limited to two (2) tickets per person.

This is a fantastic opportunity to familiarize yourself with the COAST bus and how easy it is to get around town. 

Want to let us know how awesome your ride was?  We’d love to hear it!  Share a pic of you riding the bus with us by email ( or on social media (@KitteryTownHall on FB & IG) and use the hashtag #KitteryCoasts to let your friends and neighbors know that they can join you in staying cool and cruising around Kittery with the COAST bus.

To learn more about COAST and where it stops in Kittery, please visit their website by clicking here.

Image of the COAST bus traveling through the Kittery Foreside

Kittery Bike/Ped Temporary Traffic Demonstration Project Public Information Session | June 12, 2024 | 6:00 PM | Council Chambers & Zoom

The Town of Kittery is excited to announce a new temporary bicycle/pedestrian demonstration project that will be implemented in Town this summer, aimed at improving conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.  The demonstration project is another opportunity to test design concepts that were recommended as part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

Join Town staff for a Public Information Session on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Town Hall Council Chambers and Zoom to learn about the new project, in addition to information about the exciting long-term implementation of last year’s projects.

To register for the meeting via Zoom, please click here.

For more about the Traffic Demonstration Project and ways you can provide your input and feedback, please visit

Illustrated flyer with different people using a crosswalk on foot, bike and driving









Story Time & Craft | June 18, 2024 & June 21, 2024 | 10:30 AM | Rice Public Library

Join the Rice Public Library for Story Time featuring Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

For more information, please visit RPL’s website by clicking here.

Book Cover of Together We Ride

Seacoast E-Bike Demo | Kittery Community Center - POSTPONED - FALL DATE TBD

Are you interested in or curious about electric bicycles but are unsure of where to start when it comes to using one?
It’s important to consider what type of riding you’ll be doing, the size of your bike as well as your personal preferences and budget when considering what type of bike to use or purchase.  At the demonstration event, attendees will learn about a variety of e-bike options along with their benefits, and how to be safe while riding.

“Pioneer on a Mountain Bike” with Author Dianne Fallon | June 26, 2024 | 6:00 PM | Rice Public Library

Join the Rice Public Library as they host “Pioneer on a Mountain Bike” Author, Dianne Fallon for an engaging book discussion.  Fallon’s book centers on her journey of discovery as she cycled a 400-mile trek from New York to Maine.

Pioneer on a Mountain Bike brings history to life and offers readers a fresh understanding of early America and the urge to plot your own journey.

For more information or to register for this event, please click here.

Book Cover of Pioneer on a Mountain Bike by Dianne Fallon

A Walk Through Time - History of Downtown Kittery | June 29, 2024 | 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM | Depart from Traip Academy

Join retired Town Councilor and local historian, Jeff Thomson for an immersive historical walking tour through the Kittery Foreside.  The tour will depart from Traip Academy and continue on-foot through the Foreside to John Paul Jones Park, and back again.

This tour comprises a one (1) hour walk viewing historically significant landmarks, buildings and places and pairs them with remarkable anecdotes and local stories about the people and events that have contributed to Kittery’s vibrant past and present.

Space is limited, and registration is required.  To save your spot, please visit the RPL’s website by clicking here.

July 2024

Body Positive Hiking with Paige Emerson | July 10, 2024 | 6:00 PM | Rice Public Library

Join “Chubby Hiker” Paige Emerson as she discusses “body positive hiking” and some of her favorite hiking trails in Maine.

Paige Emerson is the founder of Chubby Hiker Reviews, a social media account where she reviews hikes in Maine as someone who is plus sized. She encourages people of all body types to get outdoors and she does advocacy work for folks in fat bodies. Her main goal is to work for inclusion and accessibility in outdoor spaces. In addition to being a trail reviewer, Paige is also a Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Maine Guide. 

Learn more about Paige and Chubby Hiker Reviews by clicking here.

For more information, please visit RPL’s website by clicking here.

Story Time | July 16, 2024 & July 19, 2024 | 10:30 AM | Rice Public Library

Join the Rice Public Library for Story Time featuring Hike by Pete Oswald.

For more information, please visit RPL’s website by clicking here.

Image of the book cover Hike by Pete Oswald

August 2024

Story Time | August 20, 2024 & August 23, 2024 | 10:30 AM | Rice Public Library

Join the Rice Public Library for Story Time featuring: “Room For Everyone” by Naaz Khan and illustrated by Mercè López

For more information, please visit RPL’s website by clicking here.

Book cover for Room For Everyone

“Spin” with Author Peter Zheutlin | August 21, 2024 | 6:00 PM | Rice Public Library

Join Author Peter Zheutlin as he discusses his book “Spin” and the “‘round-the-world adventure of a lifetime, with only a change of clothes and a pearl-handled revolver”. “Spin” follows Annie Londonderry, a young, Jewish mother of three who climbed onto a 42-pound Columbia bicycle and pedaled away into history in the 1890s.Reportedly set in motion by a wager between two wealthy Boston merchants, the bet required Annie not only to circle the earth by bicycle in 15 months, but to earn $5,000 en route, as well. This was no mere test of a woman’s physical endurance and mental fortitude; it was a test of a woman’s ability to fend for herself in the world.
Often attired in a man’s riding suit, Annie turned every Victorian notion of female propriety on its head. Not only did she abandon, temporarily, her role of wife and mother (scandalous in the 1890s), she earned her way selling photographs of herself, appearing as an attraction in stores, and by turning herself into a mobile billboard.

For more information, please visit RPL’s website by clicking here.

Book Cover of Spin by Peter Zheutlin

Are you excited to start flipping some pages?  Because we are! 
Books and Big Ideas Flyer with colorful, illustrated people reading       Flyer for upcoming author events with colorful, illustrations of people reading