Jeff Harshbarger | KCUR

Jeff Harshbarger

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The National Endowment for the Arts started the initiative called The Big Read as a way to encourage reading. This year, for its Big Read selection, the Kansas City Public Library chose the novel True Grit.

It’s the story of a teenager in the late 1800s who seeks to avenge her father’s murder. The library is hosting a series of public events, including a performance of songs inspired by the era of the novel.

Writing songs from Mattie's perspective

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Fado is a Portuguese folk-song tradition dating to the early 19th century.