“The Seventh Most Important Thing” by Shelley Pearsall was selected for the One Book, One Community program this year.”
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MEDINA — The Medina County District Library once again is fostering community unity through reading.
Library events coordinator Aimee Adams said every school in the county will give each sixth-grader “The Seventh Most Important Thing” by Shelley Pearsall as part of the One Book, One Community program.
Adams said Pearsall’s book was chosen because it has powerful messages that may impact readers. She said it contains artistic themes, anti-bullying messages and a lesson on redemption.
Mary Olson, readers’ advisory librarian, said the United Way of Medina County raised money to be able to give a book to each sixth-grader heading into seventh grade.
“We read that Medina County has a really low rate of families reading together, so we thought of a way to encourage them,” Olson said. “The United Way of Medina County partnered with us because the program aligned with their mission of community, youth engagement and literacy.”
United Way CEO Cheryl Parzych said her agency has a donor program for One Book, One Community.
“If the donors are willing, we share their name so the students know the people in the community care about them, which is one of the most important messages of the United Way,” she said.
Parzych said books also will be distributed to children at the Medina County Juvenile Center.
“They are students and the themes will speak to them as well,” she said. “The central character is not a bad kid, but he had a bad experience and he’s working his way forward, so they can relate to it.”
This year’s One Book, One Community program was launched with a breakfast Tuesday at Medina Library.
Carole Kowell, executive director of the district library, said this is the third time the library is offering the program, which runs every other year.
“The first one was in 2014 with “Wonder” (by R.J. Palacio) and we did “Station Eleven” (by Emily St. John Mandel) in 2016,” she said.
Wadsworth Public Library, which isn’t under the umbrella of the district library, also is partner in the program.
Contact reporter Cindy Breda at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.