One Book program to kickoff next month

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Feb. 12 to correct the spelling of Sally Cole-Misch’s name.

Every year, One Book, One Community, a long-standing program in Monroe County, urges local residents to read from a book by a major author over a series of free programs. 

This year, the group will be reading and discussing Angeline Boulley’s inaugural novel, “Firekeeper’s Daughter.” 

Elizabeth Hartig, faculty reference librarian, said once the book is selected, the author is invited to a month-long celebration of their work.

Official book cover for “Firekeeper’s Daughter”

Hartig said through the program, The Great Michigan Read, presented by Michigan Humanities, libraries, universities and schools across the state are reading this book. 

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” was published in March 2021 and is a New York Times best seller, 2021 Goodreads Choice Award winner and winner of the 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Novel. 

Boulley’s book is available in print, ebook, audiobook and e-audiobook through the Monroe County Library System. 

“Angeline Boulley is the author and she is from Michigan,” Hartig said. “The story is set in Michigan and was picked up by Netflix. They’re going to make either a movie or a TV show about it.” 

An excerpt posted on the One Book, One Community page on MCCC’s website, “Boulley paints a detailed portrait of Daunis Fontaine, a young Sault Ste. Marie high school senior who is caught up between two worlds and many aspects of her life. She is part of two families – her father’s Ojibwe Firekeeper family and her mother’s Fontaine family of local prominence.”

According to Michele Toll, assistant professor of English, the program started as “The Big Read” in 2007 with a focus on classics and changed to “One Book, One Community” in 2011 with a selection of more contemporary books. 

“This year, we are partnered with The Michigan Humanities Council and they have gave us a lot of grants to do our programs along with no cost copies of the book,” Toll said. 

Toll describes the program as an effort for everyone in the county to read the same book and discuss how the book relates to the community. She explained why she enjoys this year’s selection. “I think the characters in the book are really special,” she said. “The protagonist, Daunis, seems like the kind of young woman that every teacher would want for a student. She’s curious and goes with her gut. She’s brave.” 

Toll said one aspect of the program is that the community enjoys meeting the author and getting their book signed. 

The kickoff event for One Book, One Community is planned for Tuesday, March 12 at the MCCC Library in the Campbell Academic Center from 6-8 p.m. featuring Michigan author Sally Cole-Misch.

“We are working with The Library of the Great Lakes, which is an organization which highlights books about the Great Lakes. Sally Cole-Misch is from Michigan as well and her book, ‘The Best Part of Us,’ really compliments ‘Firekeeper’s Daughter,’” Hartig added. 

Boulley will be on campus Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in the Meyer Theater in the La-Z-Boy Center to discuss her book, “Firekeeper’s Daughter.” 

Other events are planned throughout the month of March, featuring several professors, including MCCC faculty. 

Monday, March 18 – Dr. Ken Mohney, professor of Anthropology, will have a presentation on “Small Things not Forgotten: Reflecting on the Past and Present” from 1-2 p.m. in the Campbell Learning Resources Center, Room C-224. 

Monday, March 18 – Dr. David Erban, professor of Language and Literature at the University of Toledo, will present “Origins of Native Americans” from 3-4 p.m. in the Campbell Learning Resources Center, Room C-224. 

Wednesday, March 27 – Dan Wood, professor of Criminal Justice, will talk about “Criminal Justice Topics in ‘Firekeeper’s Daughter’” from 2-3 p.m. in the Campbell Learning Resources Center, Room C-224. 

For more information, contact Michele Toll at mpersin@monroeccc.edu or at 734-384-4336 (office) or Elizabeth Hartig at ehartig@monroeccc.edu or at 734-384-4612 (office). Information is also available on the college website under One Book, One Community at https://www.monroeccc.edu/one-book-one-community/2024.