What Stands in a Storm, by Kim Cross, a true story of three days in the lives of those affected by one of the nation’s worst superstorms, is the One Book-One Community selection for 2017-18, according to the organization’s executive committee.
In the book, Cross weaves together heart-wrenching stories of death and survival during the biggest tornado outbreak in recorded history, which occurred in April, 2011 in the southern U.S. During the outbreak, 324 people were killed and entire neighborhoods erased. The author concentrates on the heart-wrenching stories of several characters in Alabama. Among the stories of heartbreak, a key message emerges: in tragic times, what tears us apart helps reveal what holds things together.
This marks the 15th year that the community has had the opportunity to come together to read a common book, hold discussions and meet the author. Cross will visit the Alliance community on March 22 and 23. Her public appearance will be March 22 at Union Avenue United Methodist Church with area high school visits scheduled the following day.
Cross is an editor-at-large for Southern Living and a feature writer who has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Media Industry Newsletter. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Cooking Light, Bicycling, Runner’s World, The Tampa Bay Times, The Birmingham News, The Anniston Star, USA TODAY, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, and CNN.com. She lives in Alabama.
Events kicked off with a review of the book by committee member, Mike Zerbe, on January 22 in the Rodman Library auditorium at 7:00. Small book discussion groups are planned for January 25 at Pancho’s Restaurant at 11:30, February 22 at Papa Gyros at 11:00, and March 7 at Frank’s Family Restaurant at 3:30. The book discussions will be led by members of the One Book executive committee. On February 27 at 7:00, at the Alliance Satellite Center of Stark State, a panel of residents from Newton Falls will share their experiences and what they know about the F5 tornado that hit their town on May 31, 1985. On March 6 at 7:00, emergency preparedness experts ask, "Are you prepared?" and will discuss having a "go" bag, insurance matters, and technology alerts at the Alliance Y.W.C.A. A movie about two storm chasers will be shown on the big screen in the Rodman Library auditorium on March 10 at 2:00. The committee will be raffling off two Little Free Libraries for the Alliance area. They were made by Girl Scout Troop #60359 that meets at Union Ave. United Methodist Church and is led by Regena Clair.
The selected books for the past 14 years for the Alliance area 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, “One Amazing Thing” by Chitra Divakaruni, “Thunder Dog” by Michael Hingson, “The Essay” by Robin Yocum, “Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe,” by Tom Batiuk, “A Deadly Wandering,” by Matt Richtel, and "The Life We Bury," by Allen Eskens.
“We would not have the opportunity to bring the author to Alliance if not for the resources provided by our partners, including the Friends of Rodman Public Library, University of Mount Union, The Greater Alliance Foundation and ‘The Review,’” Stone said. “Also a number of teachers in area schools have committed to teaching from the book.”
“What Stands in a Storm” is available at the University Bookstore at Mount Union and Rodman Public Library for $10. Several copies also will be available for checkout at Rodman Public Library and the Mount Union Library.