Little Bee by Chris Cleave has been selected as the featured book for the 2010 Santa Monica Citywide Reads program.

Citywide Reads is a community reading program that invites the public to read and discuss the same novel in book clubs and other special events held around the city. 2010 marks the eighth anniversary of the program.

The second novel by Cleave, Little Bee is the story of a teenage Nigerian refugee and a married pair of disaffected British journalists, whose lives and destinies collide in unexpected and shocking ways. Addressing the themes of immigration, family, infidelity and loyalty, the book examines the intricacies of human connection and sacrifice, a Santa Monica Public Library spokesperson said.

Little Bee was shortlisted in 2008 for the Costa Book Award for Best Novel and this year for Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Film rights for the book were recently optioned by Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, the library spokesperson said.

In addition to Little Bee, Cleave is the author of the award-winning novel, Incendiary. A columnist for The Guardian newspaper, Cleave lives in London with his wife and two children.

Santa Monica Citywide Reads will take place from February 6th to March 6th, 2010, and will feature several free public book discussion groups held throughout the city. Related special events, including a presentation by author Cleave, are also being planned.

For more information about Citywide Reads,, or the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.