The St. Johns County Public Library’s ‘One Community, One Read’ program to feature author Lisa Wingate’s appearance


The St. Johns County Public Library System recently announced that St. Johns Reads 2019 has chosen Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel “Before We Were Yours” as the next community reads title, and that Wingate will be visiting St. Johns County.

St. Johns Reads 2019, a “One Community, One Read” initiative, will feature a full month of programming and events centered around the community’s reading of “Before We Were Yours.” As the finale to St. Johns Reads, Wingate will be making a personal appearance at the St. Johns County Convention Center at World Golf Village on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.

“Before We Were Yours” depicts the story of a horrifying and little-known piece of depression era history, as described from Wingate’s webpage.

“An engrossing new novel based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals — in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. ‘Before We Were Yours’ brilliantly fictionalizes and brings to life a shocking facet of America’s past.” 

Scheduled programs for St. Johns Reads include visits from the St. Johns Riverkeeper team, craft programs, food programs featuring a “Taste of the Old South” and more events touching upon the culture and era surrounding this story.  

Wingate’s appearance is funded in partnership with the library’s seven Friends of the Library groups and a grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

The author of 30 books, Wingate will be reading from “Before We Were Yours,” discussing her work and her process for researching and writing. Books will be available for purchase and signing by Wingate, courtesy of the Bookmark Independent Book Store in Neptune Beach. 

The book is now available in multiple formats at the St. Johns County Public Library System. For further information or to place a hold on a copy the book, call the local branch library or visit


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