‘Sing For Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family’ chosen for One Book, One Community program

Author to appear at Suncoast Technical College and Sarasota Opera House on Jan. 26

Image courtesy Sarasota County

Daniel Bergner’s Sing For Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family is the One Book, One Community selection for 2018, Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources staff have announced.

“The book details a young black man’s journey from violence and despair to become a star with New York’s Metropolitan Opera,” a news release explains. “It is the inspiring true story of Ryan Speedo Green and his beginnings from a difficult childhood and juvenile detention to a life full of hope and dreams fulfilled,” the release adds.

Sarasota County staff is kicking off the program with a visit from Bergner on Jan. 26. He will speak and sign books starting at 10:30 a.m. at Suncoast Technical College, located at 4445 Career Lane in North Port; and then at 7 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, located at 61 N. Pineapple Ave. in downtown Sarasota.

Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Director Sarabeth Kalajian points out in the release that the book was a very good choice for 2018’s One Book program because of the story’s universal themes of achieving success in the face of adversity.

“The purpose of the One Book, One Community program is not only to encourage discovery of new literary voices, but to inspire,” says Kalajian in the release. “This true story, as written by Daniel Bergner, is an empowering reminder of what can be accomplished when you refuse to accept your circumstances and reach for something greater.”

The One Book concept was created in 1996 to help foster a shared love of reading by encouraging everyone within a community to read and discuss the same book concurrently, the release explains. “Sarasota County introduced its One Book program in 2003 as a way of connecting the area’s diverse mix of residents,” the release notes.

The program has recognized local authors as well as world-renowned writers, the release points out. Each summer a committee selects the One Book title and then plans a public event with the author and readers. This celebration includes follow-up programs at Sarasota County libraries and other venues, the release adds.

Anyone may participate in One Book One Community by attending a library or community event or by hosting his or her own book discussion group.

Visit onebooksarasota.com to register for these events and to learn more about how to participate. Additional information is available by calling the county Contact Center at 941-861-5000.