Local libraries throughout west-central Minnesota will throw a virtual lunch party like the one at the end of the book "Because of Winn-Dixie," by Kate DiCamillo, at 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 18.

Kids and their families can log onto the Viking Library System Facebook page. Libraries will provide online music and entertainment and viewers will supply the food, re-creating the grand party that concludes the story.

Prepare party food, just like in the book: peanut butter or egg salad sandwiches (be sure to cut them into little triangles and adorn with frilly toothpicks), "Dump Punch" (orange and grapefruit juice and soda in a punch bowl), "the biggest jar of pickles you'll ever see in your life," and some "Littmus Lozenges" (hard candy).

Party-goers may share photos of their party food and adorable pets online, and sing along or dance to the live music performed by a librarian. Party-goers who post photos or comments on Facebook will enter a raffle to win a copy of the book.

"Because of Winn-Dixie" is the first book featured in One Book | One Minnesota, a new statewide book club inviting Minnesotans of all ages to read a common title and come together virtually to enjoy, reflect, and discuss.

Presented by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, in partnership with State Library Services, the program aims to bring Minnesotans together during a challenging time and highlight the role of libraries as community connectors.

Request a copy of the book from the library or read the digital book for free for eight weeks on ebooksmn.org.

In a companion event, author Kate DiCamillo will take part in a live online interview on Wednesday, May 20, at 1 p.m. Details will be available on the Viking Library System website and Facebook page.

For more information, contact 218-739-5286 or info@vikinglibrarysystem.org.