The Highest Tide, by Jim Lynch, has been selected as the featured book for the 2008 Santa Monica Citywide Reads program.

Santa Monica Citywide Reads is a community reading program that invites everyone to read and discuss the same novel in book club meetings and other events held around the city. Next year marks the sixth anniversary of the program.

In The Highest Tide, 13-year-old Miles O’Malley spends one transformative summer navigating the mysteries of his beloved Puget Sound surroundings and his relationships with family and friends, according to the Santa Monica Public Library.

“The book is an exciting selection for Santa Monica Citywide Reads, with richly drawn characters and vivid descriptions of marine life,” according to the library. The book was published in hardback and in trade paperback by Bloomsbury USA.

Author Jim Lynch grew up on a lake near Seattle, and explored Puget Sound as a child during weekend trips aboard his parents’ sailboat. He has degrees in creative writing and journalism from the University of Washington. He has written for The Seattle Times and Portland’s Oregonian, and has won national journalism awards.

The Highest Tide, Lynch’s debut novel, received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. He lives near Olympia, Washington with his wife and daughter.

Santa Monica Citywide Reads is scheduled from April 12th to May 17th and will feature free public book discussion groups led by volunteer facilitators and held in libraries, bookstores, coffeehouses and other venues. Related special events, including a presentation by the author at Santa Monica College May 17th, are being planned.

Information about Citywide Reads, www.smpl.org/cwr/, or the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

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