2019 - 2020 One Book Theme: "Search for Self"

  • The 2019 - 2020 One Book theme is titled, “Search for Self.” The idea behind the theme is to encourage students to think in terms of what they want to do in life and how they will get there. This theme also gives everyone the opportunity to reflect on how they can continue to move forward down the road to self-improvement.

    For the 2019 - 2020 school year, students and staff can choose from five (5) different books which have a common theme of characters facing to better themselves.

Book Selections and Summaries

  • Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

    Dumplin' is a thought-provoking story of an overweight high school girl Willowdean's struggle -- not with her weight but with her ability to see herself as someone who's worthwhile and deserves happiness. The heroine is a great role model for self-empowerment, and there are lots of positive messages and lessons about not letting your appearance define who you are and what you do.

    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

    Ged, a motherless goatherder from a small island village, shows early signs of magical power. First taught by the village witch, he is then apprenticed to the wizard of the island. But he is restless for power and glory, and is eventually sent to study at the Wizard School on Roke Island. There he is a top student and shows signs of one day becoming one of the greatest of wizards. But his pride and jealousy foolishly lead him to accept the challenge of a snide older boy to show his power. In doing so, Ged accidentally unleashes into this world an evil shadow from the land of the dead, and causes the death of the Archmage. Now Ged must figure out how to overcome this shadow before it possesses him.

    Toughness by Jay Bilas

    The popular ESPN basketball analyst and former Duke player looks at the true meaning of toughness. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned an incomparable work ethic under coach Mike Krzyzewski, battling against the greatest college players in the game. A graduate of Duke Law School he has since become one of basketball's most recognizable faces through his insightful, intelligent work on ESPN's SportsCenter and College GameDay. Through his ups and downs, on and off the court, Jay learned the true meaning of toughness from coaches, teammates, and colleagues. Now, he discusses this misunderstood-yet vital-attribute and how it contributes to winning in sports and in life.

    We are Okay by Nina LaCour

    The story of a college freshman named Marin who has left behind everything and everyone from her old life after the sudden death of her grandfather. Her best friend, Mabel, is determined to reconnect with her and arrives for a visit as Marin is spending the winter break alone in her dorm. The reason for Marin's sudden departure from her home in San Francisco is slowly revealed in flashbacks. While modest in length, the novel sensitively addresses big issues such as loneliness, lost love, grief, and family secrets.

    A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi

    It's a fiery, relatable, quasi-autobiographical novel of being a post-9/11 Muslim high school sophomore. There's quite a bit about the harmful effects of prejudice and stereotyping -- and how to overcome your own bias and see things as someone else does, which forms a positive contrast to the barrage of hateful or clueless behavior from many teens and adults.