New Castle County Reads

2022 Selection: This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Image of William Kent Kruger, 2022 NCC Reads Author

We are pleased to announce that This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger is the 2022 selection for New Castle County Reads. Kruger is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author. His second standalone novel since Ordinary Grace tells the story of four orphan children who embark on a bold and dangerous journey during the summer of 1932. A magnificent novel about a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, the story also explores an overlooked piece of American history — the Native American boarding schools that were a fixture around the United States until the 1960s. 

Mark your calendars now for the Evening with the Author event on Thursday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m. at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Visit to register for the event. 

Part of a Book Group? Beginning January 3, you can sign up your local book group to be part of NCC Reads 2022. You will receive updated information about the program and related events. Books will be available for your group while supplies last.  Please remember that book groups need to register each year. 
You can also borrow a copy of the book by visiting any New Castle County Library.

For a summary and additional information about This Tender Land, please visit

Related Programs

Lenape Lifeways
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 @ 6pm - Brandywine Hundred Library
Saturday, May 7, 2022 @ 1pm - Bear Library

Learn about the Lenape people by seeing and touching genuine artifacts, tools, and historical-based toys. In-person programs.

Card Making Workshop
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 @ 6pm - Zoom Virtual Program

Join us for a special card-making event. This virtual workshop is for ages 16+. Participants will pick up card-making materials at the Newark Free Library or the Brandywine Hundred Library. Registration required.

Gentle Jones: American Vernacular Music of the 1900s
Saturday, May 7, 2022 @ 2 pm - Brandywine Hundred Library

Gentle Jones has been performing and recording for two decades now. Born in Georgia and raised in the great state of Delaware, his family roots can be traced back to the West Virginian Appalachians; Gentle Jones carries the old time tradition, but has also picked up quite a few influences along the way. American Vernacular is how he describes what he does, a combination of classic country, western, hip-hop, and punk rock. Gentle Jones is a true Renaissance person, and his latest album It’s My Lazy Day is his distinctly American version of the Sistine Chapel, only in audio form.

As part of the New Castle County Reads program featuring the novel, This Tender Land, this performance and lecture will cover music from the American Vernacular in the 1900s and the stories behind them. Expect a fun history lesson along with delightful songs from across the last century sung by Delaware's own Gentle Jones.

Author Talk - Sneak Peek

Author William Kent Kruger chatted with New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer in a preview of his upcoming visit to Delaware.

Krueger-Video Opens in new window

Have You Read It?






Orphan Train


The Twelve Tribes of Hattie


The Boys in the Boat

The 2020 NCC Reads program is the 16th annual event in our series, which started in 2005. Beginning in 2010, the New Castle County Reads series began to feature an author talk at St. Mark's High School, so that a large number of community members could enjoy not only reading the book, but hearing the author. Each year since then, this highlight event has attracted more than 500 people to a free event presenting talented writers and an opportunity to meet the author during book signings. As participation has expanded, the author talk moved to the facilities at the Chase Center On The Riverfront, beginning in 2015.

The NCC Reads committee has also reached out to area book groups in an effort to create a true community reading event. To date, at least 50 area book clubs, with 560 members, have registered to be part of the NCC Reads experience.

Libraries have hosted book discussion programs as well, so that all readers have an opportunity to share their thoughts on each year's featured title. Additional programs relating to each title have added to the breadth and depth of understanding and sharing about the themes and ideas found therein.


The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey


The Silver Linings Playbook




Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet


The Art of Racing in the Rain


Bel Canto


A Walk in the Woods


The Glass Castle


Digging to America




Riding the Bus With My Sister