Arts and Entertainment

Pa. Center for the Book selects book for 2017 Route One Reads initiative

‘The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott’ chronicles life of adventurous woman

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the third consecutive year, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book will participate in the Route One Reads initiative, a program under the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2017, the theme of the initiative will be memoirs and biographies, and the book selected to represent Pennsylvania is “The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott” by Marjorie G. Jones.

Jones chronicles the life of Mary Vaux Walcott (1860-1940) using letters, journal entries, newspaper reports, illustrations and photographs. She tells the story of Walcott, a Philadelphia Quaker, whose life as an avid explorer, glaciologist, early photographer, Indian commissioner and renowned illustrator of North American wildflowers illuminates the worldview of intrepid women of her era.

"Walcott was quite an explorer and trailblazer for her time,” said Caroline Wermuth, Pennsylvania Center for the Book outreach coordinator. “It's a great read for women's history.”

The diverse reading list created by Route One Reads highlights each individual state Center for the Book while celebrating the East Coast as a whole. By participating in Route One Reads, readers can travel across 15 states and the District of Columbia without taking a single footstep, or load selected books into the car for a literary road trip. The full list of featured books for the 2017 Route One Reads initiative, along with a map of participating states, is available at Visit for Pennsylvania’s book.

Route One Reads is a partnership between the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and its affiliates in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Connecting the 2,369 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Ft. Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida, the Route One Reads initiative is a partnership between 16 affiliate Centers for the Book to promote books that illuminate important aspects of their states or commonwealths for readers traveling the major and meandering highway. The initiative was launched at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or follow #Route1Reads on Twitter.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, encourages Pennsylvania’s citizens and residents to study, honor, celebrate and promote books, reading, libraries and literacy. In addition to the Route One Reads initiative, it also administers the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, the Public Poetry Project, Letters about LiteratureA Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy; and the interactive Literary & Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania.

For more information about Route One Reads or other initiatives of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, contact Nicole Miyashiro at

"The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott" by Marjorie G. Jones chronicles the life of Quaker Mary Vaux Walcott (1860-1940) who was an explorer, trailblazer and renowned naturalist. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated May 26, 2017