One Book, One City for Kids


Read With Us!

One Book, One City for Kids is a cool reading program that tries to get all the 5th graders in one city (Grand Rapids) to read one book (Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper).

Even if you’re not a 5th grader, we’ll let you read the book. If you would like to hear the book read aloud to you, the library has an audiobook you can check out. Or listen to it on OverDrive.

What happens in the book?

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it.

Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up; if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows. But she can’t. She can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write.

Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you’ll never, ever forget.

Learn a little bit about the author

Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author, with Out of My Mind staying on the list for over 18 months. She was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year, and was chosen as an NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner.

She is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner, and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, and is the recipient of the Dean’s Award from Howard University School of Education, the Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Marva Collins Education Excellence Award, and the Governor’s Educational Leadership Award. Last year she was named Ohio Pioneer in Education by the Ohio State Department of Education, and in 2008 she received the Beacon of Light Humanitarian award. In 2009 she received the Doctor of Laws Degree from Pepperdine University. In 2011, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of adolescent literature by The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as the 33rd Annual Jeremiah Luddington Award by the Educational Book and Media Association, also for lifetime achievement.

She has been honored at the White House six times. She was chosen as one of only four authors in the country to speak at the National Book Festival Gala in Washington, D.C. She represented the United States in Moscow at their Book Festival. Her book, Copper Sun has been selected by the US State Department and the International Reading Association as the United States novel for the international reading project called Reading Across Continents. Students in the US, Nigeria, and Ghana are reading the book and sharing ideas—a true intercontinental, cross-cultural experience.

As well as actively encouraging and motivating teachers and their students all over the United States, she has also traveled to China, Japan, Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bermuda, and Guam, spreading the word about the power of accomplished teaching and excellence in education.

An Evening with Sharon M. Draper

Monday, March 6, 2017, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library Street NE | Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
The author of the book, Out of My Mind, which is included in many school curriculums nationally, will be presenting and signing books. This ends the One Book, One City for Kids program. Educators and youth, not only will you meet the author of this year’s selection, but you will be able to come and mingle with others who have read the book. Refreshments and cake will be served.

This visit is funded by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today.

Thank you to our community partners: