Patrick Ness talks with students at Riverside High School in Leesburg, Va. on Nov. 19, 2015.1book 1community is a countywide reading program that promotes community dialogue and understanding through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. The program is made possible by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund, which provides thousands of copies of the chosen title every year. 

In 2015, Loudoun County residents had the pleasure of reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. The book’s themes of grief, family and truth are powerful and inspiring. Ness’ story resonated through the community as it was the focus of adult book clubs and was a hit in middle and high school classrooms. 

Ness discussed his work with and signed books for Loudoun County residents and Nov. 18 at Smart’s Mills Middle School. The next day, he enthralled Riverside High School students with a presentation and Q&A on his work and inspirations. 

With his visit to Loudoun County, Ness joined a distinguished group of authors who’ve shared their work with our community through the 1book 1community program. Stayed tuned for the selected title for 2016! 

Previous 1book 1community titles and authors:

2014: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

2013: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

2012: When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka

2011: Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

2010: Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni

2009: The Wall: Growing Up Behing the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

2008:  Nothing But the Truth by Avi

2007:  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2006:  The Giver by Lois Lowry

2005:  Witness by Karen Hesse

2004: The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

A countywide reading program that promotes community dialogue and understanding through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.

Sponsored by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund





What would you do if you could not make yourself known, if you had thoughts you could not speak? That is narrator Melody Brooks’ plight: “By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meanings. But only in my head,” she writes. “I have never spoken one single word.” Melody’s world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but hindered by physical limitations and misunderstandings. She will never sing or dance, talk on the phone or whisper secrets to her friends. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind, that is until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice... but not everyone around her is ready to hear it. This is a book that defies age categorization, a story that will enlighten and resonate with all readers.



Out of My Mind
is the story of a ten-year-old-girl who has spirit and determination, intelligence and wit, and no one knows it. How frustrating! Imagine yourself in the same situation. Melody, whose very name sounds like a song, loves words, however. She says, “Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes— each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands... Words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them.” Melody uses words like weapons to fight her daily battles. She has a brilliant mind, a photographic memory and dreams and desires of any child her age. Throughout the novel, I tried to show the power of language, and the deep, rhythmic heartbeat of words in our lives. “Everybody uses words to express themselves. Except me. And I bet most people don’t realize the real power of words. But I do. Thoughts need words. Words need a voice.” Melody’s voice will soon be heard all over Loudoun County, and I really look forward to sharing her words with all of you, and listening to your words as well.


Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is the selected title this year. This book tells a story that is sure to provoke discussion among readers of all ages. Out of My Mind speaks for those who cannot speak. It reveals the quiet strength and fortitude it takes to overcome disabilities and the misconceptions that go with them. It reminds us of the humanity in us all. It is impossible to close this book without thinking about the world differently. We are grateful to the Irwin Uran Gift Fund which is providing copies of the book to our community.

Copies of Out of My Mind are available at library branches, the County Government Building and through Outreach Services. Whether you share your ideas with your neighbors, or attend one of the many book discussion groups or programs at the library, we are sure you will find the experience to be enlightening and thought-provoking.

We wish to thank the 2014 1book 1community Selection Committee for the time and effort
they dedicated to the project.