Trumbull County library’s reading group returns

WARREN — One Book One Community returns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic with a new name and an expanded book list.

The program started as a collaboration among the different libraries in the county to encourage the public to read the same book and participate in discussions and programs built around it.

While the books have covered a variety of genres over the years, they primarily targeted adult readers.

“We haven’t had the program since 2020 and are excited to restart it,” said Cheryl Bush, public relations manager for the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library system, which has branches in Howland, Cortland, Lordstown, Brookfield and Liberty in addition to its main location in Warren. “A committee of librarians read and considered book titles for our featured book, and we felt it was important to include children, tweens and teens in the conversation.”

This year’s program, now called Trumbull County Reads, will feature four books all chosen around the theme of “Stand Up.” Two of the four titles deal with the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University, where the Ohio National Guard fired on anti-war demonstrators, killing four people and wounding nine others.

“As we looked at the books we wanted to talk about, not only did they have wide regional interest, but also subject matter that invited learning and discussion,” Bush said. “The theme ‘Stand Up’ reflects on the power everyone has to make a difference, whether it’s in their community or largely in the world.”

The adult selection is “Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio,” a graphic non-fiction work by cartoonist and author Derf Backderf that chronicles the May 4 shootings and the events leading up to it. Backderf also is the author of the graphic book “My Friend Dahmer,” which was adapted into a film in 2017.

The young adult and tween selections both were written by Deborah Wiles, a two-time National Book Award finalist who will speak at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Warren library as part of Trumbull County Reads.

“She travels extensively, speaking and presenting at literary festivals throughout the country,” Bush said. “We invited her and were able to fit it into her schedule. We’re excited to have her coming from Atlanta.”

Wiles’ young adult book “Kent State” uses multiple voices and multiple vantage points to tell the story of the shootings. The tween selection “Anthem” is the story of two cousins who take a road trip across America in 1969 in order to tell a teen he’s been drafted to serve during the Vietnam War.

The children’s book “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem” was written by Amanda Gorman, the young poet who spoke at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The book, featuring pictures by Loren Long, is the story of a girl who leads a cast of characters on a musical journey as they learn they have the power to make changes, big or small, in their communities and in the world.

In addition to Wiles’ lecture, a variety of book discussions and other events are planned throughout the month of October at the six libraries in the Warren-Trumbull system as well as the McKinley Memorial Library in Niles and the Hubbard Public Library.

Representatives from the Kent State University Fashion Museum will discuss at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 how the clothing of the 1960s and ’70s reflected the divide between the establishment and the counterculture. Kent professors Laura Davis and Mark Seeman will explore some of the question that remain about the shootings more than 50 years later in a program at 6 p.m. Oct. 26. Both lectures will be at the Warren library.

Movie screenings, a trivia night and arts and crafts programs for both children and adults also are planned. A complete schedule of events can be found online at wtcpl.org, and schedules are available at the participating libraries.


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