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CFVI Announces USVI Center for the Book's "Great Reads from Great Places" Youth and Adult Selections for 2024

U.S. Virgin Islands, April 4, 2024  The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), which serves as the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, U.S. Virgin Islands affiliate, is pleased to announce the two books selected for the USVI 2024 “Great Reads from Great Places.”


"CFVI is deeply honored for this opportunity to help celebrate our islands' unique cultural heritage in our role as the USVI's Center for the Book,” said CFVI President, Dee Baecher-Brown. "We are delighted to have such meaningful representation of our beloved Virgin Islands for the third year in a row with these two authors and their books."

“Ziggy on the Rock,” by C.M. Rohan, has been designated as the USVI's youth Great Read for 2024. The book tells the story of Ziggy, a vibrant, adventurous, and kind boy who is growing up in the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands. The book follows Ziggy and his friends as they explore their island home and embrace their Caribbean culture.

C.M. Rohan was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has worn many hats throughout the years. After the birth of her nephew and her daughter, she was unable to find children's books that were inclusive of life in the Caribbean. At this point she decided to write children's books that children of the Caribbean could identify with and feel represented at story time. With her nephew as her inspiration, she wrote several stories of his adventures on the island.

For more information, visit

C.M. Rohan

Cadwell Turnbull

“The Lesson,” a novel by Cadwell Turnbull, tells the story of an alien ship resting over Water Island. For five years the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of super-advanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last. A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.


Turnbull, who grew up in St. Thomas, is an award-winning author. “The Lesson” won the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Award in the debut category. The novel was also shortlisted for the VCU Cabell Award and longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award.


For more information, visit

The selection process for USVI's Great Reads began in January with CFVI opening a public nomination form for community members to submit book recommendations. Eligible books could be written by authors from the territory, take place in the Virgin Islands, or celebrate the USVI's culture and heritage. CFVI received a total of 45 nominations, all of which were reviewed by an advisory committee of individuals familiar with literary work in the territory and rated in the areas of cultural significance, innovation, diversity and inclusivity, audience appeal, originality, impact, and literary merit.

Prior Great Reads selections from the USVI include "James and the Fireburn," "Fireburn the Screenplay," "Monster in the Middle," and "King and the Dragonflies."

During the 2024 National Book Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., representatives from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Marianas will staff booths to promote their book selections and other literary works reflective of their unique locations.

For more information about the 2024 National Book Festival, visit

For more information about the Library of Congress Center for the Book,


For more information about the USVI Center for the Book, visit


About Center for the Book and the Library of Congress
Congress created the Library’s Center for the Book in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. It has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion with affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Northern Marianas. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.

About the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands

Since 1990, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been a catalyst for positive change in the territory through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning. For more information, visit

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