By Leslie Scott | Prosper Times Contributor-
This is the third year the Prosper Community Library has offered the One Book, One Town program and each year it continues to grow. Unlike most libraries that truly offer one book to read as a community, we offer one adult book and then books with similar themes for all age groups. I believe this is a way that not only the community can come together in literature, but also families are reading similar topics and I hope it opens up family communication about literature and the world around us.
This year’s selection was particularly difficult given how amazing last year’s book pick was. Most all readers seemed to enjoy A Man Called Ove. They loved the story, the man, the other characters, the feelings, and the thought provoking conversations it created. Ove is a tough act to follow, and I hope readers will enjoy this year’s choice as well.
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline is the 2017 One Book, One Town selection. This book haunted me long after I read it. It was one of those stories where I equally liked and disliked the same characters, it had me considering what I would do, prompted me to research the history of the characters and the art, and made me want to make a trip to the Museum or Modern Art in Manhattan, New York to see the piece for myself.
A Piece of the World blends facts and fiction to tell the story of how one of America’s best known paintings, Christina’s World, was created. There is a rich and emotional story of how Andrew Wyeth created his art and the close circle of people that had a great amount of influence on him. This story, like art, has layers and layers of detail, complexities, thoughts, beauty, and even exposes human weakness, strengths, and mistakes. It questions the emotional and physical limitations of everyone, but especially those with a physical disability.
Overcoming obstacles is the theme I focused on from A Piece of the World for the supplemental age appropriate readings. Each year, once the adult book is picked, I choose books that explore a similar theme for children of all ages. This year’s picks include: The Jelly Bean Tree by Toni Yuly for the toddler and early readers, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown for the independent reader, Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff for older independent readers, and Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel for teen readers. Every one of these stories explores how bravery comes in many forms (often in unconventional ways), opportunities that form who we are, how we overcome obstacles, and how others in our lives impact dealing with our difficulties.
The library has multiple copies of each selection, some in varying forms such as audio and eBook, to check out. Plan to join our One Book, One Town reading this year, and attend a reading club or begin one yourself. The library will hold a few book discussions in the late summer and early fall, but I also find that impromptu discussions among friends and acquaintances are just as good. And just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can only read A Piece of the World. You too can read the children and teen selections. I believe reading a diverse age group of reading material is just as good as reading your own. The writing for children has never been better, and by reading it alone or with a child, you will be given great opportunities to discuss the stories further. One Book, One Town is a wonderful and unique way to be part of the Prosper community and I hope you will join us!