shelby county reads

Shelby County Reads is our One-Community, One-Read program. Each year a committee meets to choose a book title for the community to read and to develop programming that enhances the theme of the book. Titles for our younger readers are also selected that relate to the main book. The library is proud to have representatives that serve on the committee and to support the programming. (View the 2019 Shelby County Reads Calendar of Events)


This year, "Adoption and Family," is the theme of our chosen books.



Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York TimesUSA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller. For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”

…Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong. (Read More) 


**AUTHOR VISIT** We are pleased to announce that Robin Benway, author of our selection Far from the Tree, will be speaking to Shelby County High School Students on Tues., Sept. 17 (9am and 1pm presentation). At 6pm, Queen’s Cafe and Dining will host a Meet & Greet. RSVP required.


Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

National Book Award Winner, PEN America Award Winner, and New York Times Bestseller!

Perfect for fans of This Is Us, Robin Benway’s beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the meaning of family in all its forms—how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it. Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family,  (Read More)



Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he's never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who's also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The second one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you."

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere - and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip's lives. (Read More)



Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

In this Newbery Honor Book, a troublesome 12-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.  (Read More)



Animal Rescue Center: The Unwanted Puppy by Tina Nolan

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. (Read More)


pre k - grade 1:

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza

Family is about love no matter how different parents and children may be, adopted or not. Choco wishes he had a mother, but who could she be? He sets off to find her, asking all kinds of animals, but he doesn't meet anyone who looks just like him. He doesn't even think of asking Mrs. Bear if she's his mother-but then she starts to do just the things a mommy might do. And when she brings him home, he meets her other children-a piglet, a hippo, and an alligator-and learns that families can come in all shapes and sizes and still fit together.  (Read More)


past titles:

2004: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
2005: Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
2006: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
2007: Getting Open by Tom Graham and Rachael Graham Cody
2008: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
2009: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
2010: Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
2011: Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman
2012: October Sky by Homer Hickam
2013: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2014: The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts, Whip Hand by Dick Francis, and Half Broke  
by Jeannette Walls
2015: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
2016: Indiana Authors & Books (Bicentennial Year)
2017: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
2018: The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro 

supporting Shelby County Reads

Planning for Shelby County Reads is a year-long process requiring many hands and funding. Volunteers to plan and staff events are welcome and deeply appreciated. If you are interested in being on the Shelby County Reads mailing list or receiving updates, please contact us. Monetary donations are tax-deductible. Donations may be directed to:

  • Shelby County Reads
    7 Public Square
    Shelbyville IN 46176

  • Checks payable to:
    "Shelby County Reads"

  • Questions: Barbara Rogers or Connie Eaton at 317-392-2270