Once again our university is coming together with One Maryland One Book to get the campus and students involved. The book pick this year is a YA choice by an established writer. Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian," with illustrations by Ellen Forney, is this year's read. It's about a Spokane Indian kid trying to hang on to a little bit of hope in world that's stacked against him. It was a really great read. I've been reading Alexie for years and managed to catch him speak at ACRL 2009 in Seattle. He had me giggling then, and I'm sure he will again. He'll be speaking at various locations around Maryland and of course at the Baltimore Book Festival. His spot this year will be at 2pm on Saturday, September 24th. Despite addressing heavy topics in his writing and his talks, Alexie never fails to bring a great sense of humor.
But what are we doing? Getting Alexie was pretty much a near impossibility. He's a big name and movie star, after all. So I'm super excited about Towson's unique involvement this year. Not only is it required reading for the Honors College, and not only will we have a book club discussion, BUT, we're also bringing Ellen Forney, the illustrator, to campus! How cool is that? The kid in the story wants to be a comic book writer and Forney lent her talents throughout the book in making the narrator's talents a reality. It's so cool to have the narrator talking about something and then, on the next page, there's a hilarious comic depicting the same scene. It's like the kid is using your novel as his sketchbook. I actually had to remind myself that a teenage boy hadn't actually drawn the doodles and comics.
Ellen will be gracing our campus with both a talk AND a workshop. I truly hope our art and writing students don't miss this awesome opportunity. What a great way to participate in One Maryland One Book this year! I'm already psyched!