“Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History” selected as 2019 One Book, One Community title

The Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo public libraries, the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library at Concordia College, Livingston Lord Library at Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Dakota State University Libraries, Moorhead Community Education, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and the Fargo Air Museum have selected the New York Times bestseller Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien as the 2019 One Book, One Community selection.

Fly Girls is the previously untold story of five remarkable women who competed against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s. The women – Florence Klingensmith, a high school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita – fought for the chance to fly and race airplanes – and in 1936, one of them would triumph, beating the men in the toughest air race of them all.

This year’s One Book, One Community reading project launches in September and features several events, including a community book discussion, film screenings, cultural exhibits and other engaging programs. The project will conclude with an author visit on Monday, Oct. 28. O’Brien will speak at an invitation-only informal reception event at the Fargo Air Museum. Later that evening, he will take the stage for an author presentation and book signing, also at the Fargo Air Museum. The evening event is free and open to the public.

Copies of the book are available for check out in several formats (physical and digital) at each of the participating libraries; book club kits are also available. For a list of related events and resources, visit any participating library starting Aug. 1 or visit this page.

This is the eighth year of the One Book, One Community reading project, which centers on the community-wide reading of a single book and is dedicated to creating a shared conversation along with a range of related events and activities for residents of all ages.

All One Book, One Community events are free and open to the public. The project is supported by the Friends of the Fargo Public Library (major sponsor), Friends of the West Fargo Public Library, Friends of the Moorhead Library and Moorhead Community Education.