Fourteen years in, the Pikes Peak Library District's All Pikes Peak Reads program (ppld.org/appr) is still going strong. Modeled after the "one-book" projects of larger cities such as Chicago, APPR simply encourages the entire community to read the same book — or more accurately, books — and provides opportunities for related group discussions, author talks and book signings, film showings and the like.
This year's list includes five titles for a range of ages, each to fit within the theme of "Transformation at Elevation," with protagonists changed by "extraordinary circumstances."
The books for 2015 are:
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette. A tale of the 19th-century U.S. expedition led by Captain George Washington De Long to reach the North Pole, by journalist and New York Times best-selling author Hampton Sides.
Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better. As the title would suggest, Wired columnist and New York Times Magazine contributing writer Clive Thompson argues that the Internet, social media and the like are influencing us positively.
American Born Chinese. For teens, Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel (the first ever to be nominated for a National Book Award) is described as an "action-packed modern fable," about three very different characters trying to find their way out of tight spots.
Wonder. This novel by R.J. Palacio has been designated APPR's children's selection, but everyone should read this heart-strong story about a boy with an extraordinary face.
I'm Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes. For the youngest readers, Marilyn Singer's picture book stars a little girl who's chasing Bigfoot with her brother.