O-Town Reads

Ottawa Library is excited to continue O-Town Reads for the seventh year. These​events are designed to bring our community together through the reading and discussion of a common book and give the members of our city -- both young and old -- an opportunity to connect and talk through a shared reading experience.

O-Town Reads brings friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers together through a common theme. Approximately 500 copies of the chosen title are given away to the community each year with the instructions to "read and pass it on". 

2022 Title

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

Pick up your free copy at the library today.

Audiobooks are available through 3M's CloudLibrary with a state library card.

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Previous Titles

Check out some of these other great titles we have promoted over the past few years.

2021

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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” Behind the cranky exterior, there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.

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2020

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No Other Home by Matt Besler

Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler has achieved something extraordinary in the least extraordinary way. At every level of his athletic career, Besler has heard the same questions and initial dismissal of his talent. Even as he made his slow, steady progression into the consciousness of his coaches, opponents, and fans, then onto the national and world soccer stage, he heard it still. How does a normal guy like Matt Besler end up playing in the World Cup, one of the most exclusive competitions in international sports?

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2019

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Tough As They Come by SSG Travis Mills

Thousands of soldiers die every year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost—Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation.

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2018

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The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

The compassionate, startling, moving true story of two kids with the same name from the city: One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. At each stage of their young lives, they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.

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2017

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Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber

When Lily was three, her mother put her up for adoption, then disappeared without a trace. Or so Lily was told. Lily grew up in her new family and tried to forget her past. But with the Korean War raging and the fear of “Commies” everywhere, Lily’s Asian heritage makes her a target. She is sick of the racism she faces, a fact her adoptive parents won’t take seriously. For Lily, war is everywhere—the dinner table, the halls at school, and especially within her own skin.

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2016

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Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. She's the smartest kid in her whole school - but no one knows it, because Melody can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write. Melody's story is one full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.

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