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Media Advisory, Arts & Entertainment, Campus Events, General Information

EBR Mayor-President Kip Holden and Community Partners Kick-Off One Book One Community Summer Selection

Author Karen Spears Zacharias to come to Baton Rouge on July 26

06/02/2012 02:06 PM

BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden along with several community partners rolled out the “One Book One Community Summer Selection” initiative during a 9 a.m. press conference on Saturday, June 2, at the Red Stick Farmers Market and Arts Market in downtown Baton Rouge.


Holden announced that he will be reading author Karen Spears Zacharias’ “A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder” this summer as part of the One Book One Community Summer Selection, or OBOC, program. The program creates a citywide book club that aims to use a common reading experience as the motivation for the intellectual and cultural exchange of dialogue and ideas in order to raise awareness and visibility about a relevant community issue or issues. OBOC organizing sponsors include Baton Rouge Community College, Barnes & Noble, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Forum 35, LSU, Macadam Cage Publishing, Redstick Internet Services, and The Greater Baton Rouge Literacy Coalition.


“This year’s book, ‘A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder,’ reminds us all that we have a responsibility to report and stop child abuse,” said Robin Kistler, co-chair of One Book One Community.


Zacharias’ compelling memoir, recalls the true story of 3-year-old Karly Sheehan, daughter of divorced parents Sarah and David Sheehan. On June 3, 2005, Karly Sheehan was beaten to death by Sarah’s live-in boyfriend, Shawn Field. Zacharaias watched Sarah Sheehan grow up as a child and even allowed Sarah to live with her and her family for a period of time. Compelled to consider her own culpability in this tragic case, Zacharias pieces together the tragic events through court documents, investigators’ interviews, and interviews with friends, family, law enforcement officials and key witnesses. As the terrible story unfolds, the hard question emerges for everyone involved, “Why was no cry raised to protect Karly?”


Zacharias’ work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Newsweek, National Public Radio, Relevant Magazine, Christianity Today, and CNN. She teaches journalism at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., and blogs at


Greater Baton Rouge-area residents are encouraged to read “The Silence of Mockingbirds”; see the author speak when she comes to Baton Rouge on Thursday, July 26,; and discuss the book with friends, family and co-workers as well as participate in other discussion events. Copies of the book can be found at your local library, bookstore or purchased online.


For more information visit the program’s website at There, participants can learn more about the book and its author, download discussion guides and obtain a complete schedule of upcoming events surrounding the OBOC Summer Selection project. Visitors to the site are also able to download a flyer to use as a tool to encourage others to read the book and join the discussion.


Image downloads of the book cover and author’s photographs are also available under the “other resources” tab of the website. Or visit where you can join discussions with other Face Book members.        


Readers of “A Silence of Mockingbirds” will have the opportunity to meet the book’s author and ask her questions during a FREE public event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, at LSU’s Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes. The Cox Center is located on the corner of Fieldhouse and N. Stadium Drives on the LSU Campus.


Media Note:
Copies of the book are available to media who wish to review it and who would like to write about the OBOC summer selection, or cover the author’s visit to Baton Rouge. Please contact Kistler at 225-276-6378 or

LSU Media Relations