Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson has been selected as the featured read of the One Book One Community program for 2012-13, according to the organization's executive committee.
The book chronicles the true story of the author's escape from the World Trade Center on September 11. What makes the story unique is that the author, blind from birth, could not have survived if not for the heroic efforts of his guide dog, Roselle. Themes that run throughout the book are teamwork, strong will and dedication.
Thunder Dog was selected among dozens of books that were nominated by members of the Alliance community, according to Pat Stone, director of Rodman Public Library, who chairs the committee.
"This is the tenth year of One Book One Community in the Alliance area, and it is always a challenge finding a book with broad appeal and realizing that one of our criteria is an appearance by the author," Stone said. "With the selection of Thunder Dog we have a book that will have broad appeal and lead to meaningful programming and discussions."
Stone said the programming leading to the author's appearance is still to be determined but Hingson has committed to appearing in Alliance on March 21 at 7 p.m. in Presser Recital Hall. He will also be visiting area high schools. Hingson, despite being blind his entire life, is an inventor and futurist in addition to being a best-selling author. He earned a master's degree in physics from the University of California-Irvine and was instrumental in the development of the first reading machine for the blind.
The selected books for the past nine years have been The Color of Water by James McBride, Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon, Real Time by Pnina Moed-Kass, Beyond the River by Ann Hagedorn, Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland, and One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni.
"We would not have the opportunity to bring the author to Alliance if not for the resources provided by our partners, including Rodman Public Library, University of Mount Union, The Greater Alliance Foundation and The Review," Stone said. "We are also pleased to report that a number of teachers in the Alliance City Schools, Sebring, Marlington and West Branch local schools have committed to teaching from the book."
Thunder Dog is available at the University Bookstore and Rodman Public Library. The cost of the book is $10. Several copies also will be available for checkout at Rodman Public Library and the University of Mount Union Library.