Past Picks

Bringing Maryland together since 2008

One Maryland One Book picks are stories that ring true long after their year is over. Explore past picks and find a new favorite!

If you would like materials for any prior selections, please contact alewis@mdhumanities.org.

Book Cover Year Title Author Theme Guides

2021 The Book of Delights: Essays Ross Gay Hope

Reader’s Guide for The Book of Delights

Teacher’s Guide for The Book of Delights

2020 The Island of Sea Women Lisa See Friendship

Reader’s Guide for The Island of Sea Women

Teacher’s Guide for The Island of Sea Women

2019 What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City Mona Hanna-Attisha Nature

Reader’s Guide for What the Eyes Don’t See

Teacher’s Guide for What the Eyes Don’t See

Bloodsworth_cover 2018 Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA Evidence Tim Junkin Justice

Reader’s Guide for Bloodsworth

Teacher’s Guide for Bloodsworth

Purple Hibiscus book cover 2017 Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Home and Belonging

Reader’s Guide for Purple Hibiscus

Teacher’s Guide for Purple Hibiscus

Full Cover All American Boys 2016  All American Boys Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely 21st Century Great American Novel

Reader’s Guide for All American Boys

Teacher’s Guide for All American Boys

2015 The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown Sports- The Drama of Human Competition

Reader’s Guide for The Boys in the Boat

Teacher’s Guide for The Boys in the Boat

 The Distance Between Us 2014 OMOB 2014 The Distance Between Us: A Memoir Reyna Grande The American Dream

Reader’s Guide for The Distance Between Us

Teacher’s Guide for The Distance Between Us

 King Peggy 2013 OMOB 2013 King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman A Pivotal and Impactful Moment in Time

Reader’s Guide for King Peggy

Teacher’s Guide for King Peggy

 The Cellist 2012 OMOB 2012 The Cellist of Sarajevo Steven Galloway Courage and Unity in Times of War

Reader’s Guide for The Cellist of Sarajevo

Teacher’s Guide for The Cellist of Sarajevo

 Absolutely True Diary 2011 OMOB Cover 2011 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie How People Struggle with Conflicting Beliefs and Negotiate Opposition to Those Beliefs

Reader’s Guide for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Teacher’s Guide for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

 cover of Outcasts United 2010 Outcasts United Warren St. John The Meaning of Community, How We Definite It, and What Brings Us Together As Well As Divides Us within Our Communities 

Reader’s Guide for Outcasts United

Teacher’s Guide for Outcasts United

 Song Yet Sung 2009 OMOB Cover 2009 Song Yet Sung James McBride Race, Identity, Civil Rights, or Multi-Cultural Experiences

Reader’s Guide for Song Yet Sung

Teacher’s Guide for Song Yet Sung

 A Hope in the Unseen 2008 OMOB Cover 2008 A Hope In the Unseen Ron Suskind Race and Race Relations

Reader’s Guide for A Hope in the Unseen 

Teacher’s Guide for A Hope in the Unseen

  • “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
  • “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 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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “This program is a gift, literally and figuratively!”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 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
  • “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 how much we need to talk and listen to one another.”

    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
  • “[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
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports bold experiences that explore and elevate our shared stories to connect people, enhance lives, and enrich communities.
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