ALLen Reads

allen reads celebrating 10 yearsALLen Reads is a one-book program under the leadership of the Friends of the Allen Public Library. It is unique in one-book programs in that related books are chosen as “companions” to the main book to promote families and all generations reading and talking together.

ALLen Reads will complete its 10th year of providing the community with its wonderful One Book Program. Over the years, the Allen community has benefited from reading some great books with an opportunity to meet fabulous authors, had thought-provoking discussions and attended a variety of local programs!

The Friends coordinate this annual community project in which a book is chosen for the whole community to read and discuss. Activities often include book discussion groups, an author visit, a movie, a play, and other guest speakers. The library, AISD, and all of Allen’s civic groups and community organizations support this effort!

Join us! Friends of the Allen Public Library meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7 PM, Allen Public Library Board Room.

ALLen Reads meets the second Monday of each month at 7 PM in the Allen Public Library Board Room.

ALLen Reads is designed to:

  • stimulate interest in the pleasure and importance of reading
  • engage the residents of our community as we come together – in schools, families, book groups, civic organizations and more – to discuss the book and the issues it raises
  • encourage reading at all ages
  • include everyone, especially those new to the country or community
  • bring the community together through shared activities and experiences

Our 2018 ALLen Reads Books

Main Selection

The War That Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
(Recommended for grade 5 through Adult)
More Details

A Newbery Award winner for 2016. The historical details, character development, tight plot, and rich layered themes make this firecracker sizzle. Ten-year-old Ada has a clubfoot and is kept locked in her family’s one bedroom apartment while her six-year-old brother, Jamie, roams free in London, England. Mam hits her two children and punishes Ada by locking her in the cabinet under the sink. World War II is about to happen, and parents are sending children to the countryside for safety. The ironic title of this book refers not only to the physical war, but the internal and daily battles faced by the characters. War is about death and destruction, not saving; however, there are times when “some things are worth fighting for.” Most people didn’t want to go to war and avoided it until it became necessary. For Ada, “There are all kinds of wars.” The author keeps building on various themes and advances the plot pointing to those themes.


Companion Books

Diana’s White House Garden
by Elisa Carbn

(Recommended for grades 3 – 4)
More Details

Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It is 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana’s father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father’s office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country’s survival: Victory Gardens!
From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the home front.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love  
by Michelle Edwards

(Recommended for grades K – 2) More Details

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

For more information call (214) 509-4911, or email

Join us for these ALLen Reads Events

  • Movie Night: “A Dolphin’s Tale” / Monday, August 6th at 7:00 PM
  • Movie Night: “Black Beauty” / Monday, August 13th at 7:00 PM
  • Celebrating Differences / Thursday, October 4th, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
    Speakers/panel discussions on special needs topic
    Special needs kids’ night at the library
    Special needs resource fair
  • Symphony Program / Sunday, October 7th, 2:00 – 4:30 PM
  • Tea & Talk at Allen Senior Center / Wednesday, October 10th at 2:00 PM
  • Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley / Thursday, October 18th at 6:00 PM

ALLen Reads 2017: A Decade of Reading Together

 Thank You

 to the people, organizations & businesses that made this project possible for 2018!

Family Circle

Allen Arts Alliance

Allen Public Library

City of Allen

Foundation for Allen Schools


Friendship Circle

Allen ISD

Allen Kiwanis Club

Allen Noon & Sunrise Rotary Clubs

Barbara Buehler

Red Pepper Productions, Inc.

Kindness Circle

Allen High Noon Lions Club

Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

Barnes & Noble

Food for Thought Cafe

*”This project was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas,

the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”