One Maryland One Book

As our One Maryland One Book programming takes place in the fall, we do not as yet anticipate any impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 One Maryland One Book Title Announced

book cover of The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

This year’s memorable read is The Island of Sea Women by New York Times bestselling author Lisa See. The book chronicles the lives and friendship between Young-sook and Mi-ja, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju. They become the closest of friends. However, their differences are impossible to ignore: Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position of leading the divers; whereas Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator and will forever carry that mark. From the Japanese occupation of the 1930s and 1940s, World War II, to the Korean War, events will push their seemingly unbreakable bond to its breaking point.

This beautifully written and thoughtful novel shines a light on the remarkable haenyeo culture and two women who are a part of it. Readers won’t soon forget the journey of Young-sook and Mi-ja’s friendship.

What if everyone read one book at the same time?

Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to Maryland Humanities’ e-News to be the first to hear what we’ll be discussing across our state. Learn more about the criteria and process

To learn more about the selection process or past One Maryland One Book picks, visit the One Maryland One Book FAQ page.

Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to Maryland Humanities’ e-News to be the first to hear what we’ll be discussing across our state.

Questions? Contact Andrea Lewis at alewis@mdhumanities.org.

About One Maryland One Book

When we read a great book, we can’t wait to share the experience and talk about it with others. That’s one of the joys of reading.

In that spirit, Maryland Humanities created One Maryland One Book (OMOB) to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. We invite you to participate in book-centered discussions and related programs at public libraries, high schools, colleges, museums, bookstores, and community and senior centers around the state.

OMOB programs, including an author tour, take place each year in the fall. A calendar of free public events will be available online this summer.

FAQs
To learn more about the selection process or past One Maryland One Book programs, review our Frequently Asked Questions.

One Maryland One Book Lead Sponsors & Partner

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One Maryland One Book Sponsors

Additional Support

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Activities in Baltimore City are funded in part by Mayor Jack Young and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

This flagship program of Maryland Humanities’ Maryland Center for the Book would not be able to reach all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City without the continued support of our partners and sponsors. Please join us in thanking them for their generosity!

  • “My students have been removed from their home schools. Right away, they made comments about the diction of the text, how it seemed realistic to them and they pointed out words they would have changed. We talked about word choice, slang, etc. I had 2 instances where students were excited to see me because they had events similar to the book happen to them and they needed to tell someone. They want to know how to change things. […] These kids typically failed English class or were chronic non-attenders or were removed before they came here. They are excited about reading a book! Teacher librarian win!”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 teacher
  • “We had our best attendance, ever, for a book discussion, in the seven years I’ve been here.”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 participant
  • “One student who has been held back several years and suffers from emotional disorders spent several minutes asking One Maryland One Book [author Daniel James Brown] questions. He very patiently listened and answered each question. He then signed her book: ‘Write with your heart not your head.’ To watch this interaction was very touching.”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “The discussion of the [2015 One Maryland One] book could not have been better. Everyone had a particular part of the story that touched them. One of the newcomers was an experienced rower and gave us wonderful insight into the physical and spiritual aspects of the sport. It is the first time in my ten years with this group that everyone loved the book.”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 participant
  • “The school I am reporting on is designed as an alternative center for students who are not successful in the “regular” classrooms in our district. These students are challenged by a number of factors, including emotional problems, discipline issues, etc. This particular book was one that a number of students were able to relate to and engage with. As a consequence, students who do not normally read became active participants in both reading and discussing!”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “[One Maryland One Book is] excellent! I come to as many of the One Maryland One Book events and will continue to do so—always pleased!”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
  • “I distributed copies of the book and we engaged in an afterschool discussion which included students and staff. Everyone who participated was so engaged that our 45 minute planned discussion ended up stretching into an hour and a half!”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 teacher
  • “This program is a gift, literally and figuratively!”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “Left on my own, I would choose the same kind of books over and over again. Now, [participating in One Maryland One Book,] my reading experience is broader and richer and all the more enjoyable.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
  • “I had two students participate who told me they’ve never finished a book before and they finished this one and want to read more!”

    ​One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “[One Maryland One Book] is wonderful; enlightening, explorative, innovative, [and] educational.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
  • “One of my students, a boy who works 35 hours a week at McDonalds, took the time to write me a letter stating the book had changed his life.”

    ​One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “[One Maryland One Book taught me that] these types of book discussions that include diverse populations across the state open necessary dialogues to help solve problems. We need to have many more.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
  • “[One Maryland One Book] brings cross curricular teachers together to the library to read, discuss topics and social issues in the book. It’s a way for students to read good books without the pressure of an assignment.”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “What a discussion! That what’s needed in every town, city, and every age group.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
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info@mdhumanities.org
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