Charlestown Residents/Staff October 21 to Participate in One Maryland One Book Project

CATONSVILLE, MD – More than 200 hundred Charlestown retirement community residents and staff October 21 will participate in this year's One Maryland One Book project by discussing "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" by Daniel James Brown.

They have been reading this book for the past three months and will share their thoughts about it during a 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. event in the Auditorium that will feature Baltimore Rowing Club officials, Charlestown resident Jerry Waters of the Annapolis Rowing Club and Rich Clothier, former rowing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, as panelists. This discussion will be facilitated by members of the Baltimore County Public Library’s Catonsville Branch.

Out of the depths of the Depression comes the book’s irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.

The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

In its eighth year, One Maryland One Book is held under the auspices of the Maryland Humanities Council and is designed to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book.

Readers are then invited to participate in book-centered discussions and other associated programs at public libraries, high schools, colleges and universities, museums, bookstores, and community and senior centers. Programs will take place each year in the fall.