One Book AZ aims to promote literacy, sense of community

Posted on by az100

by Jennifer McClellan – Apr. 12, 2011 10:49 AM
The Arizona Republic

Since 2002, the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Office has hosted One Book AZ, a statewide project aimed at promoting literacy and fostering a sense of community.

Each year, an adult-appropriate and child-appropriate book are chosen by public vote. In 2007, in anticipation of the state centennial in 2012, organizers decided to showcase books with themes relating to Arizona.

This year’s selections are “Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud,” by Carolyn O’Bagy Davis, and “Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two,” by Joseph Bruchac.

Past adult and children titles include “The Three Little Javelinas,” by Susan Lowell, “Going Back to Bisbee,” by Richard Shelton, and “The Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel.

Along with book promotion in libraries and classrooms, organizers coordinate a variety of activities including author appearances, panel discussions and lectures.

“People are able to learn more about Arizona by reading the books,” said Shayna Muckerheide, the program coordinator. “People come to the libraries to read the book and to have something in common to talk about. And, some people who usually wouldn’t come to the library participate and they usually discover something positive in their own state.”

According to organizers, a total of 263 public and school libraries, colleges, museums and non-profits participated in the program in 2010.

They distributed 5,500 books, 4,000 posters, 20,000 bookmarks, and 4,906 copies of the curriculum to more than 84,000 people who attended author signings, lectures, discussions and activities.

They expect about the same amount to participate this year.

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records is a division of the Secretary of State. It coordinates One Book AZ with federal grants and support from a dozen organizations including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Phoenix College, Arizona Library Association, ASU Piper Writing Center/English Department and the Arizona Geographic Alliance.

Visit for a schedule of One Book AZ events. Check out this not-to-miss event in your area:


Carolyn O’Bagy Davis will discuss her book “Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud” at Phoenix College, 1202 W. Thomas Road, during an alumni association sponsored lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18.

Details: 602-926-3369,

Southeast Valley:

Humanities scholar Catherine Della Penta, who works with Maricopa Community Colleges, leads a discussion on “Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud,” by Carolyn O’Bagy Davis. The presentation starts at 7 p.m. , April 27, at the Downtown Chandler Library, 22 S. Delaware St.

Details: 480-782-2800,

West Valley:

Davis will discuss her book “Hopi Summer: Letters from Ethel to Maud” and lecture about her time spent with the Hopi community. She’ll also sign books after the presentation, which starts at 1 p.m. Monday, April 18, at the Sun City Branch Library, 16828 N. 99th Ave.

Details: 623-974-2569,

Celebrate Arizona

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Be notified of upcoming events, press releases and more!

Follow Us!

Will open a new window