Read Across McKinney

2019 Book Selection:
Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

A book club favorite worldwide, Before We Were Yoursby Texas author Lisa Wingate, is a fascinating fictionalization of one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals.

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About the Book

From the 1920s through 1950, thousands of children of single mothers and poverty-stricken parents were taken away, sometimes even quietly whisked off front porches or from hospital maternity wards, by the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and its Memphis branch director, Georgia Tann.

While heartbroken birth mothers searched for their stolen sons and daughters, the children were often kept in unlicensed boarding facilities and given new names and histories before being advertised for adoption to families who could afford to pay. 

“We are very excited to present this author in coordination with the release of her follow-up book, Before and After,” said Jo Dell‘Antonia, President of Friends of the McKinney Public Library System. Before and After reveals the true stories of victims of the notorious adoption scandal, some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach. 

“We think the history behind this bestselling story will appeal to readers of all ages, and encourage meaningful discussions among the many book clubs in our area.” Scheduled for release on October 22, Before and After was coauthored by a victim of the adoption scam, Judy Christie.


About the Author

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker and New York Times Bestselling Author of thirty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, The Carol Award and the Christy Award. This year’s Read Across McKinney selection, Before We Were Yours, remained on the New York Times Bestseller List for over a year, was Publishers Weekly’s #3 longest-running bestseller of 2017, and was voted by readers as the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award winner for historical fiction.


Events and Resources

The Friends of the McKinney Public Library encouraged book clubs to schedule Before We Were Yours as their October read. A luncheon and book signing were also held at Stonebridge County Club on Oct. 24. 

Both the Roy and Helen Hall Memorial Library, downtown, and the John and Judy Gay library on El Dorado supported the event with print copies of Before We Were Yours and Before and After, as well as audio CDs and downloadable audiobooks.


Read Across McKinney

First developed in 2005, Read Across McKinney is a city-wide book club, scheduled for the month of October, that encourages residents throughout the community to read the same book concurrently.

Read Across McKinney is sponsored by the Friends of McKinney Libraries, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization whose mission is to support the library system and enrich the community by providing cultural and lifelong learning opportunities. Join the Friends of the Library.