This year's book selection for One Book One Community is “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline.

This year's book selection for One Book One Community is “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline. There are programs and events planned through October.

Kline's visit last week was the kickoff event. She visited the Stark County District Library in Plain Township, the Canton Palace Theatre and the Stark County District Library Main branch on Sept. 15 and 16. Her book is about a once orphaned widow and a troubled teen who find comfort in one another's history.

Julia Shaheen, literacy coordinator at the Stark County District Library and chairperson of the One Book Committee, said the book was selected for a number of reasons.

“The book is about family, heritage and the journey getting to where you are today,” Shaheen said. “We wanted a book that would be for students, adults, readers and nonreaders. The selection was narrowed down to three titles. When we found out the author was available to come for a presentation, we decided on “Orphan Train.”

Stephanie Soduk, public relations and development manager at Stark County District Library, said there were a lot of people involved with the selection process.

“There were at least 20 people on the selection committee including teachers, community members, educators and representatives from the libraries,” Soduk said.


Shaheen said every library in Stark County will host an event related to this book and the topic.

“The message of the One Book One Community is to promote reading and we have events for people to gather and talk about the theme of this book,” Shaheen said. “We have a book for middle schoolers with the same topic called ‘Enrique's Journey’ by Sonia Nazario. It's about attracting readers of all ages including the younger readers to come together and enjoy the discussions and events.”

This is the 11th year for the One Book One Community. Shaheen said the feedback and participation has grown every year. She said people start calling her in the middle of the year asking about the book selection.

“The One Book One Community is a way to bring people from all over the county together,” Soduk said. “This book is about a period in history that not many people may be aware of and the events in the book could have happened right here in our county.”

Shaheen said this year's events are progressive beginning with the author's visit. There is also a Pathway Caring for Children program which teaches others about today's foster parent program. Next, readers are invited to participate round table discussions all leading up to a dramatization of what the characters in the book may have experienced on the orphan trains.

“The progression of events should attract a lot of people and give them multiple events to attend to learn more about this book,” Shaheen said.

For more information about One Book One Community and the events planned throughout September and October visit