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 2018 Shelby County Reads Calendar of Events)


This year, "The Art of Reading," is the theme of our chosen books.



The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Art Forger comes a thrilling new novel of art, history, love, and politics that traces the life and mysterious disappearance of a brilliant young artist on the eve of World War II. (Read More) 

**AUTHOR VISIT** We are pleased to announce that B.A. Shapiro, author of our main selection The Muralist, will be joining us for a special presentation on Thurs., Oct. 11 at the First Presbyterian Church. A VIP Meet & Greet ($25) will be followed by an author presentation (free ticket required), Q&A, and book signing. (Details and Tickets)


grades 6-8:

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen. (Read More)

grades 9-12:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try. (Read More)


grades 3-5:

The One and Only Ivan by Katharine Applegate

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)

grades 1-2:

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola

In spring, the hills and meadows of Texas and Wyoming are ablaze with the reds, oranges, and yellows of the Indian Paintbrush. How this striking plant received its name is told in an old Indian legend.Many years ago, when the People traveled the Plains, a young Indian boy had a Dream-Vision in which it was revealed that one day he would create a painting that was as pure as the colors of the evening sky at sunset.  (Read More)


pre k - grade 1:

Splat by Gabriel and Jamie Lehman

Two playful, rhyming stories make up this endearing double feature by husband and wife team, author Jamie Kay Lehman and artist Gabriel Lehman. In each story, a caring child makes a massive mess.  (Read More)



Gabriel and Jamie Lehman, the artists/authors of Splat, will be speaking to all Shelby County Kindergarten students this fall and joining us on Sept. 7 for First Friday events on Shelbyville's Public Square (Free Event 5:30-8:30pm).


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  

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 their fiscal agent, the Blue River Community Foundation:

  • Go to the 'Donate' section of their website (Scroll down)
  • From the dropdown of 'Youth & Education Giving Options,' select "Shelby County Reads" 
  • Blue River Foundation
    ATTN: Shelby County Reads
    54 W. Broadway St. Suite 1
    Shelbyville IN 46176
  • Checks payable to: 
    "The Blue River Community Foundation" with "Shelby County Reads" in the memo line