The One Book One Town (OBOT) selection for 2020 was Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero by Christopher McDougall. While a rescue donkey seems an unlikely hero, Sherman’s story also embraces the story of his owner and the friends they make along the way.
When Christopher McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. When Sherman arrived, he was so sick he could barely move but Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed to heal Sherman’s body and mind. He decided to teach Sherman to run. He had heard about burro racing – where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days – and decided the goal would be for them to enter the World Championship in Colorado. Running with Sherman is the heartwarming story of that rehabilitation as Chris and a community of others help Sherman transform from a scared, misunderstood animal into a confident champion and trusted companion.
McDougall covered wars in Rwanda and Angola as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press before writing his best-selling book Born to Run. His fascination with the limits of human potential led him to create the Outside magazine web series, “Art of the Hero.” He currently lives with his wife, two daughters, and a farmyard menagerie in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.