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One Community, One Book

A Community Reading Project

One Community-One Book: All Johnson County Reads is a community-wide reading project that annually runs from the middle of September through the middle of November. The book is selected by a committee and announced in the Spring preceding the reading project.

The 2014 One Community, One Book selection is

The distance between us : a memoir

By Reyna Grande

book cover - The distance between us : a memoir

Born in Mexico and raised by her grandparents after her parents left to find work in the U.S., at nine years old, Reyna enters the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant to live with her father. Filled with hope, she quickly realizes that life in America is far from perfect. Her father isn’t the man she dreamed about all those years in Mexico. His big dreams for his children are what gets them across the border, but his alcoholism and rage undermine all his hard work and good intentions. Reyna finds solace from a violent home in books and writing, inspired by the Latina voices she reads. After an explosive altercation, Reyna breaks away, going on to become the first person in her family to obtain a higher education, earning a college degree and then an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

Additional Information and Discussion Questions

Publisher's Information Page
The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights
Lesson Plans
Book Discussion at ICPL

Get The distance between us : a memoir at the Iowa City Public Library

Book
eBook
eAudiobook in WMA
Book Club Kit
The 2013 One Community, One Book selection is

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

By William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

book cover - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala-crazy-but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

Additional Information and Discussion Questions

Publisher's Information Page
The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights
Reading Group Guide

Get The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind at the Iowa City Public Library

Book
eBook
Book Club Kit
The 2012 One Community, One Book selection is

The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir

By Kao Kalia Yang

book cover - The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir

In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to the United States, but their experiences remain largely unknown. Driven to tell her family's story after her grandmother's death, Kao Kalia Yang's memoir is a tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them together through their imprisonment in Laos, their narrow escape into Thailand's Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, their immigration to St. Paul when Yang was only six years old, and their transition to life in America. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard.

Additional Information and Discussion Questions

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights
Publisher's Information Page

Get The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir at the Iowa City Public Library

Book
AudioBook on CD
eBook
eAudio Book
Book Club Kit
The 2011 One Community, One Book selection is

Zeitoun

By Dave Eggers

book cover - Zeitoun

The true story of one family, caught between America's two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina. Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun run a house-painting business in New Orleans. In August of 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Kathy evacuates with their four young children, leaving Zeitoun to watch over the business. In the days following the storm he travels the city by canoe, feeding abandoned animals and helping elderly neighbors. Then, on September 6th, police officers armed with M-16s arrest Zeitoun in his home. Told with eloquence and compassion, Zeitoun is a riveting account of one family's unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water.

Additional Information and Discussion Questions

Reading Group Guide
Publisher's Information Page

Get Zeitoun at the Iowa City Public Library

Book
AudioBook on CD
eBook
Book Club Kit
Spanish Language edition
The 2010 One Community, One Book selection is

Gardens of Water

By Alan Drew

book cover - Gardens of Water

Gardens of Water is an enthralling story of two families, and two faiths, in Turkey at the time of the cataclysm of 1999. It tells of Sinan, whose daughter, Irem, dreams of escaping the confines of her family and the duties of a devout Muslim woman. She sees in Dylan, an American boy and her upstairs neighbor, the enticing promise of another life. But then a massive earthquake forces Sinan and his family to live as refugees in their own country and leads to a dangerous intimacy with their American neighbors, as Irem and Dylan fall in love. When Sinan finds himself entangled in a series of increasingly dangerous decisions, he will be pushed toward a final betrayal that will change everyones lives forever.

Additional Information and Discussion Questions

Reading Group Guide
Publisher's Information Page

Get Gardens of Water at the Iowa City Public Library

Book
AudioBook on CD
Large Print Book
eBook
eAudio
Book Club Kit
The 2009 One Community, One Book selection is

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

By Barbara Kingsolver

book cover - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Additional Information and Discussion Questions

Get Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life at the Iowa City Public Library