It’s here! Fairfield Announces One Book One Town Selection for 2024

Fairfield Public Library and its community partners are pleased to announce Fairfield’s One Book One Town (OBOT) selection for 2024, Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley.

In this coming-of-age thriller, Perry Firekeeper-Birch has always known who she is—the laidback twin, the troublemaker, the best fisher on Sugar Island.  Her aspirations won’t ever take her far from home, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.  But as the rising number of missing Indigenous women in her community starts circling closer, as her family becomes embroiled in a high-profile murder investigation, and as greedy grave robbers seek to profit off what belongs to her Anishinaabe tribe, Perry begins to question everything.  Old rivalries, sister secrets, and botched heists cannot—and will not—stop her from uncovering the mystery before the ancestors and missing women are lost forever.  

Angeline Boulley is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education.  Warrior Girl Unearthedis the stand-alone companion to Boulley’s 2021 debut best-selling novel Firekeeper’s Daughter.

“We’ve never selected a thriller or a book by an Indigenous author, so those were two things that immediately stood out to the OBOT Reading Committee,” said Jennifer Laseman, One Book One Town co-Chair and Head of Teen Services for Fairfield Public Library.  “But what really captivated us was how Boulley crafts her stories not just to entertain but to educate and inspire readers to think critically about issues important to the Indigenous population.  Like all OBOT selections, the book is intended to promote community discussion, with the additional hope that it will inspire readers to dive deeper into exploring the history and present-day life experiences of the Native American communities in our region.”  

For our middle-grade and elementary school-age readers, we have selected companion books that explore age-relevant themes related to Indigenous communities.  For middle-grade readers, We Still Belong by Christine Day tells the story of a girl whose hopeful plans for Indigenous Persons Day go all wrong—until she finds herself surrounded by the love of her Indigenous family at an intertribal pow-wow. For younger children, the committee chose Berry Song by Caldecott Medal winner Michaela Goade, a wonderful book about the stewardship of our land, as a grandmother and granddaughter forage for food throughout the seasons.

This year’s OBOT partners include Experience Fairfield, Fairfield Museum & History Center, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Public Schools, Fairfield University, Fairfield University Store, Friends of Fairfield Public Library, the Pequot Library, Sacred Heart University, and WSHU Public Radio.

Copies of Warrior Girl Unearthed and its companion books are available to borrow at either location of Fairfield Public Library and at Pequot Library, or for purchase at the Fairfield University Store.  Author Angeline Boulley will speak at the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:00pm.  Registration for this event opens on February 1st; please visit our website at to register.

Are you ready for OBOT 2024?

Look for clues in January.

Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 11:00 am: OBOT Reveal 
Join us in the Periodical Room of the Main Library to reveal this year’s title and author and the companion books for middle grade and a children’s picture book.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 7pm:
Welcome the OBOT author to Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts

Thank you to all who attended last night’s author event!

Armen Keteyian with Ivan Maisel at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts

It certainly was a wonderful evening with author Ivan Maisel in conversation with his long-time friend Armen Keteyian. If you were not able to be there or if you would like to watch it again, the video recording of the event is now available on our YouTube channel here.

Evening with author Ivan Maisel to be broadcast on The Quick Live

There are still seats available for the One Book One Town signature event, an Evening with author Ivan Maisel at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts on Tuesday, March 28th at 7pm. Should you find you’re not able to join us in-person, Mr. Maisel’s talk will be streamed live at The Quick Live, Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts online programming website.

Special One Book One Town edition of “Fairfield What Are You Reading” podcast is now available

For Episode 25 of our podcast, we were so fortunate to have Ivan Maisel and his wife Meg Murray join us. Their open and honest conversation about their journey of grief as individuals, as a couple, and as parents will undoubtedly add so much to your reading experience of I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye.

You’ll find the podcast by clicking on the icon below or by searching “Fairfield What Are You Reading” on your favorite podcast platform.

One Book, One Town 2023: I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye

We are honored to announce that the title chosen was written by a resident of Fairfield. This year’s OBOT selection is I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye by Ivan Maisel.  It is an honest and emotionally deep memoir in which Ivan reflects on the loss of his dear son Max to suicide, the impact of grief on family and community, and the painful journey which brings Ivan to a place of seeing grief as an expression of love.

I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye

What Ivan and his family experienced was felt throughout the entire community.  For this reason, the existence of this beautiful memoir presented itself as an urgent and unique opportunity to bring an essential conversation to the forefront.

Here is a summary of the book from the publisher:  “In February 2015, Ivan Maisel received a call that would alter his life forever: his son Max’s car was found abandoned in a parking next to Lake Ontario. Two months later, Max’s body would be found in the lake. I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye is the story of Maisel’s love for a son who was so different from him, but who he loved so deeply, and how he came to learn that grief for Max was nothing more than a last, ultimate expression of love. Navigating the moments of their complicated relationship, as well as their love for each other, Maisel explores the bridges he tried to build to his son and the grief that engulfed him and his family after Max’s death by suicide. Taking its title from Max’s love of photography–and his tendency to only love the camera when he was behind it, looking away whenever his picture was taken–I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye delves into the tragically transformative reality of losing a child, all with grace, depth, and refinement. But by humanizing Max and humanizing his grief, Maisel evokes understanding instead of sorrow, appreciation instead of anxiety–and love instead of fear.”

Special thanks goes to Tamara Lyhne, Children’s Librarian, and Jen Laseman, Teen Librarian, for choosing wonderful titles for our younger readers. For Teens and middle school readers the titles are Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers and also Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration.  Both books are edited by Rose Brock and feature stories that celebrate the triumphant power of hope, an important message in a time when hope is sometimes difficult to find.  

For Children, the title is The Rhino Suit by Colter Jackson. This gentle and moving picture book tells the story of a very sensitive little girl who builds herself a rhino suit as protection against all of the bad and sad feelings she experiences.

Ivan Maisel will be appearing at the Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:00pm.  Registration for this event is required and will begin on Tuesday, February 28th.

Colter Jackson will be appearing at the Main Library on Saturday, March 25th at 1:00pm. Rose Brock will be holding an event as well, time and date TBA.  A full list of programs is to follow; many of them will include professionals who work in the counseling field. Details will be added to the events page as they become available.

OBOT 2023 Title Reveal on Tuesday, January 10th

Fairfield Public Library and our community partners will be announcing the One Book One Town selection for 2023 in the Periodicals Room at Main Library on Tuesday, January 10th at 10 am. This year’s choice is quite special and holds significant meaning for the Fairfield community. All are welcome to join us at the announcement.

The author of our OBOT 2023 book will be appearing at the Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts on Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 pm.

We will also be announcing the titles of companion books for reading by teens and children. More information about the events surrounding the titles will be offered as well.

Our community partners include Pequot Library, Fairfield University, Fairfield University Bookstore, Sacred Heart University, and the Fairfield Museum and History Center. One Book One Town is made possible by the generous support of The Friends of the Fairfield Public Library.

OBOT 2023 Book Suggestions?

It is One Book One Town Book selection time! We would love to hear from our patrons. Have you read a book recently that you are eager to share? Do you think it is worthy of a community wide conversation? The criteria is as follows: must have been published in 2021 or 2022, the author must be living and able to come to Fairfield in March 2023. Simple as that, so please fill out this form. We can’t wait to see what you suggest. 

Thank you –

The OBOT committee



We want to thank TJ Klune for an unforgettable evening!

If you weren’t able to attend or watch TJ Klune’s talk on March 1st at the SHU Community Theatre – no worries! You can watch it on Fairfield Public Library’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

Author TJ Klune in conversation with Librarian Philip Bahr