FAQs

Your One Maryland One Book questions answered!

  • How is the One Maryland One Book chosen?
    Each fall, Maryland Humanities sends out a call for suggestions to the general public, educators, librarians, schools, book clubs, and other partners. The call for suggestions is based on an annual theme and pre-determined criteria.

    Once the suggestions deadline has passed, the Maryland Humanities staff researches all suggestions to make sure they fit the established criteria. Then the selection committee takes the lead.

    The selection committee narrows the list of potential choices to a top ten list. In January, the committee meets to discuss the top ten and narrows the list down to three choices, later voting to establish which book will be the One Maryland One Book pick.

  • What are the selection criteria for One Maryland One Book?

    In addition to having a focus on the yearly theme, the book can be either fiction or nonfiction and should be:

    • published in 2013 or later
    • up to 350 pages
    • available in paperback, affordably priced
    • available in print, audio, electronic format and, if possible, large print, film, or translation
    • able to generate sustained discussion on the year’s theme
    • of interest people in the state of Maryland
    • appealing to a wide + diverse range of readers of different backgrounds and reading levels
    • appropriate to high school age readers as well as adults

  • What is the theme for the 2023 One Maryland One Book?

    Connection

    As our world feels more scattered, we continue to look for shared values, ideas, and goals with people, places, and times.

    We desire to see and be seen, to be heard and understood, and to find the familiar in the unexpected.

    In connecting, we imagine different and better futures. 

    The book you suggest can be fiction or nonfiction, interpret the theme of Connection figuratively or literally, and should appeal to both high school and adult audiences. You are welcome to suggest books of poetry, short stories, and plays too.

  • How can I participate in One Maryland One Book?
    Visit the How to Participate page to learn how you can take part, either as an individual or as a program partner. Maryland Humanities offers free support materials—Reader’s Guides, Teacher’s Guides, bookmarks, and posters—to book groups, organizations, and businesses that sign on as official partners.
  • Does Maryland Humanities give out free copies of the book?
    Given the statewide scope of the program, we are unable to provide copies of the book to individuals or book clubs. However, via the generosity of our donors, books are made available to participating public libraries and public high schools.

    We update bookstores around the state once the book is selected. Check your local bookstore for a copy or let them know about the program!

    Maryland Humanities provides some funding support to libraries and nonprofit organizations, as well as secondary and post-secondary schools, to foster creative public programming across the state.

  • How do you choose the One Maryland One Book Author Tour stops?

    For 2023, we have a limited author tour and are unable to have an open application. Typically each year, Maryland organizations are invited to co-host the statewide Author Tour. The author is typically available for a limited number of official tour stops, so the application process is competitive.

    For information on funding support or the Author Tour contact Aditya Desai.

  • Are One Maryland One Book events free or is there a cost to participate?
    All One Maryland One Book events, including the Author Tour, are free and open to the public. Seating is first-come first-served.

    Sign up for Maryland Humanities email newsletter to receive advance notice of events, or connect with us on Facebook or on Twitter via @MDHumanities. Use the hashtag #1MD1BK to join the conversation!

  • “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 book selections offer an opportunity to read a book that is informative and engaging. It enhances our view of the world and the individuals within it. We sincerely look forward to the OMOB selections and materials each year. It is a topic of excitement and discussion among students and staff. Truly and wonderfully.”

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

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

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
  • “One student in my book club who is in a wheelchair and has a lot of other persona/home issues, was the first to finish the book, and wheeled herself into the library more than once to ask me if I had finished the book because she wanted to talk about it. She was a huge contributor to the discussion.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 teacher
  • “The OMOB 2014 selection seemed to touch the hearts of so many teachers and students. Everyone who read the story was in awe of the struggles, the will to survive, and then the motivation to write the memoir. The Distance Between Us created such an impact on each reader that s/he handed the book to someone with the request, “you must read this story!” Plus, the selection was inter-disciplinary and ‘captured’ students in all grade and academic levels. Renya Grande captivated the readers who, “couldn’t put the book down.” It is one of the best selections. Thank you!!”

    ​One Maryland One Book 2014 teacher
  • “For most of my 10th grade students, this was the first book they have read from cover to cover.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 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 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
  • “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
  • “A sophomore on our school’s state-champ runner-up varsity football team was so taken by Joe’s story of the sophomore year on the boat that he got his dad (the coach) and several members of his team to read the book even though they weren’t assigned it in class. Another student described a discussion she got into with her math teacher after school about the relevance of the English curriculum and used her experience with Brown’s work and the field trip to convince her teacher that humanities are just as important as STEM. Great stuff!”

    ​One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “[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
  • “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
  • “[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
  • “I completed the book club with 22 students, all of them on the JV football team – so not your stereotypical group of book club attendees. On the last day of our book club experience I asked students for some feedback and also asked if they would be interested in participating in another book club. Nearly all of them said that this was the first time they had ever participated in a book club, and a few said it was the first time they had actually read an entire book. I keep hearing back from them, too, [asking] ‘When is the next book club starting up?’. The discussions we had were powerful and meaningful–this was truly one of the most moving experiences I have had as an educator.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 teacher
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