Prosper library starts book series

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press

Town encouraged to read fiction work, discuss together

Reading a book with others has long been considered a way to build community.  Book clubs, both academic and for enjoyment, are common ways people come together to learn and grow.  The Prosper Community Library began a new reading series called “One Book, One Town” to help foster this community experience through literacy. 

The book for the series is a fictional book Here in the Real World.  This book is written by Sara Pennypacker, who is a New York Times Best Selling author.  The book is written at a middle school level reading level, which allows for readers with a variety of ability to read and enjoy this book.  The book follows teenagers throughout a summer.  As the plot progresses, the reader can learn how the characters grow to face a variety of challenges.  

This book was chosen because it is appropriate for families to read together.  Adults are able to read this out loud to the children in the household without fear of topics that are inappropriate being discussed.  The library staff have compiled a list of questions for adults to use when discussing the book with children.  This book was chosen, in part, for the themes discussed.  Director of Library Services Leslie Scott says that this book is appropriate for this time in our lives, as collectively we are facing unique challenges this year.

“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,” Scott said.  “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.”

It's such a perfect book for the times we’re living in,” Scott said. “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 of the staff members have included reading this book with their families as part of their evening activities and Scott has received excellent feedback.  “It is a librarian’s dream to think of families reading together,” Scott said.  

In addition to the list of questions provided for families, the library is hosting two book club meetings this month.  These meetings will provide patrons with an opportunity to discuss the book, themes, ask questions, and relate the content to their lives.  These meetings will be held virtually, and more information is available on the library YouTube channel.  

Physical copies of the book Here in the Real World are available at the library.  Tech savvy patrons may opt to check out the book on Overdrive or in audiobook form.  The library staff have compiled picture books that correlate with the message and may help younger readers enjoy the theme of the book.