Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden said Saturday this year’s One Book One Community summer reading selection — “A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder” — offers a “major call” for all residents to “protect children.”
“Protecting our children is one of the most important things we can do for the community,” Holden said after announcing the selection during an appearance at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market and Arts Market in downtown Baton Rouge.
The book, written by Karen Spears Zacharias, recounts the true story of 3-year-old Karly Sheehan, who was beaten to death by her mother’s live-in boyfriend.
“It’s real gripping from the standpoint that child abuse is real,” Holden said.
“This year’s book, ‘A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder’ reminds us all that we have a responsibility to report and stop child abuse,” agreed Robin Kistler, co-chairman of One Book One Community and director of Executive Education at LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business, Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute.
The community-wide reading program is designed to encourage reading and discussing important issues raised in books, Kistler said. Readers may join by logging on to http://www.Re
The 2012 One Book One Community summer selection program is planned by a partnership of organizations that believe themes and concepts contained in great books can powerfully alter lives, the One Book One Community’s website states.
Holden said the book really calls residents to “stand up and take responsibility and tell others what we see.
“It’s OK to tell law enforcement or to tell someone at school (if you suspect child abuse) so we can begin to save lives instead of reading about what happened in the newspaper,” Holden said.
“As a grandmother, I think it’s an issue that is important to all of us, not just my family but for everyone’s family,” said Paula Bongiovanni, of Baton Rouge, among those attending the event.
“I think society’s issue today is the break-up of the family,” Bongiovanni said.
Holden urged residents to read the book and discuss it with friends, relatives and co-workers.
“Just as we have a ceremony today, the talk does not stop here,” Holden said.
“Make yourselves an ambassador and go out and let others know what goes on in this book,” Holden said. One Book One Community’s motto is to “Read, See and Act.”
Kistler said a reader’s guide also is available on the organization’s website. The author will be available to answer questions about the book at 7 p.m. July 26 at LSU’s Cox Communication Academic Center for Student Athletes, located on the corner of Fieldhouse and North Stadium drives.
This year’s selection is the seventh book chosen by One Book One Community, a program that began in 2006, and is modeled after the LSU Summer Reading Program, Kistler said. Copies of the book can be found at public libraries, bookstores or may be purchased online.
For more information, to download a discussion guide or to obtain a schedule of upcoming events, log on the group’s website. Visitors to the site can also download a flier they can use to encourage others to read the book and join the discussion.
One Book One Community organizing sponsors include Baton Rouge Community College, LSU, Forum 35, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Redstick Internet Services, Barnes & Noble, the Greater Baton Rouge Literacy Coalition and MacAdam/Cage Publishing. For more information, visit http://www.ReadOneBook.org.