As though intended as a direct consequence of the difficulties experienced during the historically significant year of 2020, the Prosper Community Library has chosen the middle grade novel Here in the Real World as the selection for the year’s One Book, One Town reading series.
The book, written by New York Times bestselling author Sara Pennypacker, has wide appeal for readers of all ages and tells the story of a summer in which several youngsters deal with life’s challenges, confront personal obstacles, and use their unique set of coping mechanisms to face real world questions.
Leslie Scott, Director of Library Services says the book provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity for Prosper families to share in reading, talking, hearing, listening, and discussing topics that are sometimes hard to confront.
“One of my favorite parts in the book is when the main characters acknowledge that even though bad stuff happens, what we do about these bad things is part of being in the real world. That is such an important lesson that can ignite conversations at the dinner table, conversations that are critically relevant, especially in light of what we’re going through here and around the world,” she said.
Copies of the novel are available for physical check out from the library and through Overdrive ebooks. Audiobook options are available as well. Several picture books are offered as well for pre-readers, so as to include them in these conversations. The Prosper Book Trail will also feature the selection.
To engender deeper discussions about the book and its impact, the library will present bi-monthly virtual book club meetings on its YouTube channel. These discussions are geared for all ages and give participants a chance to watch and learn more about the book, its characters, and the plot.
Families are encouraged to consider setting aside some time to read the book aloud. And, in an effort to prompt richer in-family discussions, library staffers created lists of questions that will be released monthly, delving into the book’s powerfully essential messages.
“It’s such a perfect book for the times we’re living in,” added Scott. “In the midst of the crises that we’re witnessing, parents are eager to provide their children with supportive and effective strategies for coping, and this book provides a great platform from which to launch these vital conversations.”
Several library staff members have read the book as a family activity, provoking lasting, and at times surprising, conversations that echoed the depth of feelings within the book. “It’s a librarian’s dream,” said Scott.
The One Book, One Town series, introduced annually at the start of the year, continues through the beginning of summer.