One book to rule them all

"...One Book to find them, One Book to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

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Staff Photo

Readers Advisory Librarian Mary Olsen (left) and author Emily St. John Mandel discuss Mandel's book, "Station Eleven" during Mandel's author visit.

For the second time in Medina County, a book was chosen to unite the community; this year the book is “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. The United Way of Medina, with help from the Medina County District Library, was able to distribute the books to last spring’s sophomores, or this year’s juniors.

In 2014, the book “Wonder” by Raquel J. Palacio was given to sixth graders to bring the community together and support conversation among school, family and community members. This time, a completely different genre of book was chosen.

“We really wanted to do something different from ‘Wonder’, since ‘Wonder’ was such a unique and heartwarming story. Because of this, ‘Station Eleven’ was picked because it was a great story, and it was completely different,” said Mary Olson, Readers Advisory Librarian at the Medina County District Library.

From “Wonder” to “Station Eleven”, the library makes unique choices for families and friends to enjoy with the help of the United Way.

“We look for books that lots of people will enjoy and it’s easy to talk about. It has to have ideas that people can agree and disagree with,” stated Olson.

With the help of United Way of Medina, the library holds multiple fundraisers to hold all of the unique events that they host.

Mandel visited MHS, Cloverleaf and the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center during the day on Wednesday in addition to the evening event.

“The author visit, which was planned in 2015, was funded through the Medina County District Library,” said Olson. “The space was provided by the PAC through the United Way of Medina.”

Wednesday evening, Olson and Mandel sat in arm chairs on the PAC stage. Olson read from a prepared list of questions addressing the writer’s background, previous books, her writing style and “Station Eleven”. Mandel answered the various questions and expanded upon her experiences as a writer and her visit to Medina. Mandel noted she was honored that her book had been chosen as a community read.

“We are some how unified in our experience of reading a book,” said Mandel.

The author also noted that during her school visits, students asked more questions about her writing process and ideas than questions specifically addressing her book.

“All students are secretly writers,” said Mandel.

Following the presentation, Mandel signed books in the PAC lobby where copies of “Station Eleven” as well as her other titles were available for purchase.

The library plans on having more books chosen and distributed to the students for One Book One Community in the near future.