701 Cocoa Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033

(717) 533-6555 library@derrytownship.org

One Book, One Community Book Discussion

One Book, One Community Book Discussion

Monday, February 24, 2020. 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh has been chosen as the 2020 One Book, One Community selection! A book discussion of Heartland will take place at the library on Monday, February 24 (snow date 3/2/2020). Registration can be done either online at www.hersheylibrary.org or by calling the Public Services Desk at 717-533-6555.

Read about the One, Book One Community book selection.

October 16, 2019 — Representatives from libraries announced the selection of Heartland by Sarah Smarsh as the 2020 One Book, One Community: Our Region Reads! selection. (Available in the library’s catalog.)

The public was asked to help choose a book from a narrowed-down list that they would like to read and discuss with the community.  The public vote took place during the entire month of August 2019. There were five titles chosen by the Book Selection Committee on this year’s voting ballot:  Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, Heartland: a Memoir of working Hard and Being Broke In the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh, Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, and VOX by Christina Dalcher.

This year’s OBOC regional campaign represents collaboration between 40 libraries in four counties: Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York and their community partners. Many individual libraries participate in surrounding Central PA counties. Everyone is welcome to read and discuss the book. Reading Group Guide and related materials will be listed online beginning in January 2020.

Reading campaign organizers encourage residents to read the book during January in preparation to attend free programs and discussions that will be held at public libraries beginning in February, which is designated as both Library Lovers’ Month and Book Lovers’ Month.

Participating libraries will stock copies of the book that can be borrowed free of charge beginning in January 2019.  Books will also be available for purchase at area Giant Food Stores and at local booksellers.  Program schedules for book discussion groups, author lectures and other innovative activities will be available at all participating public libraries and throughout the community.  This information may be accessed online. Nearly all the programming is free of charge. Details will be announced on the One Book website: www.oboc.org.

About the Book   Heartland: a Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke In the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

People usually think of the heartland of the United States as a bounty of agriculture and a place where comfort abounds. This memoir traces the life of Sarah among the life of the working poor. Intergenerational poverty and life choices affect the lives of this Kansas farm family.

“Smart, nuanced and atmospheric … Heartland deepens our understanding of the crushing ways in which class shapes possibility in this country. It’s an unsentimental tribute to the working-class people Smarsh knows — the farmers, office clerks, trash collectors, waitresses — whose labor is often invisible or disdained.”
—NPR Books

About the Author   Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh has written about socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Texas ObserverPacific Standard, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and many other publications. A recent Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former professor of nonfiction writing, Smarsh is a frequent speaker on economic inequality and media narratives relating this topic. She lives in Kansas. Heartland is her first book.

How the Books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected

The books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected by a Book Selection Committee that reviews many books before making their final decisions.  The five choices for the public vote were based upon the following broad criteria:

  • A good, discussable book. Books that make successful subjects for discussion have well-developed characters who are challenged by issues in their lives with which readers can identify;
  • A book that is available in quantity at reasonable cost, in various media formats (paperback, large print, audio, CD, DVD, or video);
  • A book that is written at a high school reading level; and
  • A book that varies in type from others previously selected;
  • An author, or recognized experts on the author, who would be willing to engage in discussion with readers at several events

For more information and updates about the campaign, go to: www.oboc.org