‘One Book, One Community’ set to share again

IT’S TIME FOR PLYMOUTH to get back in the book. The One Book One Community project for 2016 has been announced, with a full schedule of events scheduled for the next month and a half.

It’s the second year this community event has been scheduled and it should be just as educational and uplifting as last year’s inaugural.

“The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony,” Mary McGrory of the Washington Post said of the One Book, One Community events, which have taken place in numerous cities across the country over the past several decades. It’s a noble goal and laudable idea.

It harks back to the time when a book was the easiest way to connect to the world outside your own community and to share common experiences and knowledge within your community.

Last year, more than 100 Plymouth-area residents read Harper Lee’s novel “Go Set a Watchman” and attended one or more of the dozen events that were part of the inaugural One Book, One Community event.

This year, the focus turns to narrative non-fiction with the book “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.

The book tells the compelling story of the University of Washington eight-oar rowing crew which represented the United States in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Those games are well remembered as the first Olympics in which politics overshadowed sports as Adolf Hitler attempted to make them a showcase for Nazi Germany and its political philosophy.

Perhaps the best-known story from those games is the triumph of the African-American track star Jesse Owens – a story retold recently in the movie “Race,” which will be featured in a public screening as the final event on this year’s One Book, One Community schedule.

The story told in “The Boys in the Boat” is just as compelling and uplifting. It has already been related in an episode of the PBS series “American Experience” — which is also on the schedule for this year’s One Book, One Community. A theatrical movie based on the book is also in the works for future release.

Copies of the book are available at the Plymouth Public Library or for purchase at a discount at Book Heads on Mill Street. A young adult version of the book is also available and middle- and highschool students are encouraged to participate in the event.

Programs begin Friday, Oct. 14 and run through Thursday, Nov. 17. Information and a schedule for One Book, One Community is online at www.plymouthbookread.weebly.com or the One Book – Plymouth Facebook page.

Once again, the Plymouth School District Community Education and Recreation Department and the Plymouth Public Library are sponsoring One Book, One Community, with financial support from the Plymouth Library Foundation and the Plymouth Educational Foundation. All are to be commended for their part in this community-building effort.

Attend one, attend several or attend all of the events of One Book, One Community and you’re sure to gain something that’s as true and as needed today as it has always been — a sense of community and a sense of sharing.

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