Thursday, February 19, 2009

"The Giver" is One Book's Choice

One Book One Community has chosen its book for 2009. Allegheny County Library association spokesperson Beth Mellor says “The Giver” by Lois Lowery was chosen partially because it is approachable by such a diverse group of readers. The organization wanted to have a theme of “the future” this year and after the selection committee narrowed the field to 23 books “The Giver” rose to the top. The 1994 Newberry Award winning book is written from the point of view of a 12-year-old as he moves from childhood to adulthood living in what is first seen as a utopian society. That appearance gradually changes and the book ends in a way that Mellor says allows the reader to think about their own future. She says in the past, One Book has had to choose one book for adults and one for younger readers but she says everyone can read this one. The idea of One Book One Community is to get a large number of Allegheny County residents reading one book to create a public dialog through a series of discussions at libraries and other public venues. Mellor says book clubs will be coming on board soon as well as library sponsored reading groups, senior centers and schoolteachers. She says the ACLA hopes to encourage readers to think about and discus Allegheny County’s future and maybe even write essays about their hopes for the region in 10 or 15 years. The library association is making sure libraries have enough copies to go around and will be distributing books to homeless shelters this year. Mellor says events will be added to the ACLA web site as they are scheduled. This is the 7th book chosen By One Book One Community.

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