Normal Public Library and Bloomington Public Library get together each year to select a book we’re sure the community will love.
We encourage everyone in the community to read the selection and take part in related activities.
In the weeks leading up to our featured speaker, we offer a wide range of activities that relate to the book.
Check our calendar to see upcoming activities.
Check our calendar to see if a book discussion is coming up.e hope that when you finish reading the book, you’ll want to talk about it! The libraries host multiple book discussions and encourage you to join in.
Each year’s program culminates in a visit from a featured speaker. We love to get the author of the year’s selection whenever possible.
Check our calendar for more information on an upcoming Featured Speaker.
To make sure that patrons can easily find the current selection, the libraries obtain many, many copies. You should see displays in both libraries as we
launch the program each year.
We tend to have lots of copies of the book left over after the program, so if you are a teacher who would like a copy for your classroom or if your non-profit organization would like copies, please feel free to ask shortly after the program ends.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1960; 376 pgs
Through the young eyes of Scout Finch, Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race in the Deep South of the 1930’s.
Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam
Homer Hickam writes with humor and deep feeling of his coming of age in a coal town and dreaming of something more.
His passion for rockets will eventually take him all the way to NASA.
Outcasts United by Warren St. John
Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of a refugee soccer team, their families, and their charismatic coach as they struggle to build new lives in a fading town overwhelmed by change.
The Coal Tattoo by Silas House
Life isn’t easy for 22 year old Easter and her teenage sister Anneth, who were left parentless as young children. While Easter, a devout Pentecostal, finds solace in the powerful music of her church, Anneth seeks comfort in the rougher edges of life found in dancing, drinking, and fast living. It’s only a matter of time before a wedge is driven between them and threatens to undo their bond forever. . . .
Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
Fourteen-year-old Claudette Blum and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful. Based on the little-known but true story of the network of Italian citizens who saved the lives of forty-three thousand Jews during the war’s final phase.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires… He had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching books consumed by flames… never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.
Montana 1948: A Novel by Larry Watson
The events of one cataclysmic summer permanently alter twelve-year-old David’s understanding of his family. As their story unravels around David, he learns that truth is not what one believes it to be, that power is abused, and that sometimes one has to choose between family loyalty and justice.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Short Stories by Richard Peck
Each summer throughout the nine years of the Great Depression, Joey and his sister Mary Alice from Chicago visit their grandmother’s sleepy Illinois town. Each summer they discover a visit to Grandma Dowdel’s is far from typical.