covers of 3 books

Copies of all three books are available for checkout at Plymouth Public Library.

Community invited to read books together

Posted September 19, 2022

One Book One Community – The Plymouth Chapter has chosen three titles at different reading levels for the seventh Community Book Read.

Reserved copies of all three books are available beginning this week to be checked out with a library card at Plymouth Public Library. A variety of book discussions and other events are planned for October and November.

For children:
“My Happiness Counts” by Charm Joy Der

This book by a local author teaches children (ages 0-4) that their happiness counts through joyful rhymes and vibrant illustrations with diverse characters in engaging scenes.

From a loving smile to playing with friends, “My Happiness Counts” takes children on a fun counting journey that raises their awareness to the possibility of discovering happiness within themselves and everyday moments.

For young adults:
“Starfish” by Lisa Fipps

Ellie is tired of being fat-shamed and does something about it in this poignant debut novel-in-verse.

Ever since she wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, Ellie has been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules — like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don't move so fast that your body jiggles.”

But she's found her safe space — her swimming pool — where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It's also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie's weight will motivate her to diet.

Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life — by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

For adults:
“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

From the bestselling author of “Everything I Never Told You” comes this riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, everything is planned — from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren — an artist and single mother — who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter, Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town — and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

“Little Fires Everywhere” explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood — and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

About the community book read

The annual One Book One Community – The Plymouth Chapter book read is sponsored by Plymouth School District Community Education & Recreation, Plymouth Public Library, and Generations. The overall objective is to select a book annually as a community joint reading venture, in the spirit of Mary McGrory’s observation that “the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.”

The inaugural book read in 2015 featured “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. Subsequent titles were “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” in 2016, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” in 2017, “The Things They Carried” in 2018, “How To Make a Life: A Tibetan Refugee Family and the Midwestern Woman They Adopted” in 2019, and “She Rode a Yellow Stallion” in 2021. (Due to Covid, there was no community book read in 2020.)

Learn more:

• Visit the One Book One Community – the Plymouth Chapter website at
• Follow One Book One Community – the Plymouth Chapter on Facebook at
• Explore the Community Engagement section of our interactive, award-winning District Report Card to learn more about how our school and community partnerships yield lifelong learning opportunities.

One Book One Community events

Admission to all events is free; no signup is necessary. Reading the book(s) is encouraged, but not required.

“Starfish” discussion

Led by Natalya Kahmann
4 pm Tuesday Oct. 25 at Plymouth Public Library

“Little Fires Everywhere” discussion

Led by Jane Brill
2:30pm Tuesday Nov. 1 at Generations

“Wonder” screenings

• 1:30pm Friday Nov. 4 at Generations
• 6pm Monday Nov. 7 in Plymouth High Auditorium

“Little Fires Everywhere” discussion

Led by Anthony Sigismondi
5:30pm Wednesday Nov. 9 at Plymouth Public Library

Charm Joy Der reading of her children’s book “My Happiness Counts”

10am Saturday Nov. 12 Plymouth Public Library

“Encanto” screening

10:30am Saturday Nov. 12 Plymouth Public Library

Charm Joy Der diversity presentation

For adults and young adults
6pm Tuesday Nov. 15 at Generations