You've read the great stories and seen the movies, and now in the tradition of Paul Harvey's "the rest of the story," sequels to some of the most memorable tales are available at the Manatee County libraries.
"The Holy Road" is Michael Blake's dramatic sequel to "Dances with Wolves." Eleven years have passed since Lt. John Dunbar married Stands With a Fist; they now live in the village of Ten Bears with their three children. Tension increases when soldiers try to drive the Comanches onto reservations; a movement symbolized by the railroad -- the white man's "holy road." When a band of rangers attacks the village, slaughtering half of the inhabitants and abducting Stands With a Fist and her infant daughter, the Native American warriors defend their land while Lt. Dunbar (Dances With Wolves) tries to rescue his wife and child. It is an epic story of courage and honor.
"Gump and Company" by Winston Groom is the sequel to his best-selling novel and blockbuster film "Forrest Gump." Forrest returns, a little older, wiser and still running. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has gone bust and Forrest is flat broke. "Whenever I really get stumped, I go visit Jenny's grave, she tells me she's always rooting for me." Forrest's remarkable odyssey has just begun and Little Forrest is along for the ride, usually with ideas for successful ventures. An opportunity to play championship football puts him back in the money. Fate turns again, and he is on the road selling encyclopedias, has an explosive attempt at hog farming, creates his own recipe for New Coke, encounters Oliver North, and finds himself involved in insider trading, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Desert Storm. He again twists the nose of history when his life story is made into a movie, wins an Academy Award and he appears on the David Letterman Show to tell the rest of the story.
William Kotzwinkle tells us the rest of the story with "E.T.: the Book of the Green Planet." Return with E.T. to his home world to see what it is like and who he really is. The inhabitants are the supreme masters of all growing things in the galaxy and maintain immense enchanted gardens. E.T. has returned with Gertie's geranium, a fondness for junk food, and an all-consuming love for Elliot and his family. But things on Earth have changed: Elliot has begun to notice girls and his memories of E.T.'s teachings of gentleness and peace are fading. From across the galaxy, E.T. observes the most terrible thing -- Elliot is about to become a man. E.T.'s colleagues try to prevent his journey back to Earth to provide guidance for his friend.
In his sequel "Home School," Charles Webb displays the wit that made "The Graduate" such an enduring success. Set 11 years later, Ben and Elaine are now married and living in a New York suburb where they are homeschooling their two young sons. It is no accident that 3,000 miles separate them from Elaine's mother Nan, aka Mrs. Robinson. When the school board attempts to put an end to the family's unconventional educational methods, the family sends a cry for help to the mother-in-law from hell, who is happy to provide her loving services.
The library offers monthly email newsletters, called NextReads, with a selection of genres to choose from; each lists several books, new and classics, as well as library events. Sign up from the library website.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Access the library online at www.mymanatee.org/library.html. Cathy Habora is a staff member at the Braden River Branch Library.