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.

For more than a decade, ALLen Reads has encouraged reading in the community with its 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)

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In a previous era, often children with challenges were needlessly hidden in cellars, closets or attics, depriving them of an education and social life, or even an opportunity for forming friendships.  This year’s ALLen Reads selection, The War That Saved My Life, is an engaging story about Ava, a girl born with a clubfoot who was hidden from public view and abused.  When she and her younger brother are evacuated from London during World War II, Ava develops persistence and perseverance, which prove to be invaluable in her newly adopted home.

At 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 18 at the Allen Public Library, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley will discuss her book that garnered a Newberry Honor Medal and a Kirkus Best Books of the Year designation and was on the New York Times Bestsellers list.  This will be followed by a light reception and book signing.

Although majoring in Chemistry at college, Kimberley enrolled in a number of writing classes as part of her curricula.  One of her writing teachers was Newberry medalist Patricia MacLachlan.  After enrolling in medical school, Kimberly quit after six weeks to pursue her dreams of writing for children.

While planning and researching her book, Kimberley traveled to England.  She soon discovered that the story of the courageous evacuees is routinely taught in schools in the United Kingdom. Ordinary people kept diaries, which now offer a treasure trove of insights into the daily aspects of living during this frightening period of British history. Kimberley found The Imperial War Museum in London to be a tremendous resource with artifacts such as an air raid siren and Princess Elizabeth’s ration book from the war on display.

Copies of The War That Saved My Life, and its sequel The War I Finally Won, will be available for purchase at the program.

Sponsored by ALLen Reads, the program is free.  The library is located at 300 N.  Allen Dr.  Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

by Tom Keener, APL

Companion Books

Diana’s White House Garden
by Elisa Carbone

(Recommended for grades 3 – 4)

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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)

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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

Download our 2018 ALLen Reads brochure for details on all events!

Allen Reads Thanks sponsors

ALLen Reads 2017: A Decade of Reading Together