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Campus Life at Cumberland

One Book, One College

The 2022 - 2023 One Book, One College book selection is
The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin.


Described on Benjamin's website as "a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents' choices...a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today—because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country," this year's selection is sure to enthrall students, community, faculty, and staff alike. Making it especially impactful, the narrative is based on actual oral histories of survivors. Be sure to put The Children's Blizzard first on your reading list!

Meet the Author!

An Evening with Melanie Benjamin
Live​ and In Person
October 12, 2022, at 7:00 PM
​Guarancini Fine & Performing Arts Center​
An Evening with Melanie Benjamin is sponsored by RCSJ, One Book, One College​ and the Cumberland Campus Educational Foundation


Benjamin visits RCSJ-Cumberland's Luciano Theatre on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at 7 PM. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to RCSJ faculty, students, staff, and community. 
The Children's Blizzard will be available for sale at RCSJ B&N Bookstores and may be found at most major booksellers. Be sure to check out related resources for your classrooms and/or book club on Ms. Benjamin's Book Club Kit and The World of The Children's Blizzard​ webpages​. 
The Children's Blizzard is sure to elicit important conversations on trauma, immigration, family, and friendship and is easily relatable to the English, Women's Studies, Education, History, Psychology, and Sociology classrooms.

For RCSJ instructors:
Cumberland Faculty planning to incorporate the novel into their curricula will find an instructor packet (plot summary, analysis, discussion questions and key vocabulary) in the My Cumberland portal (inside Instructional Resources) or they may request by emailing Judy Cirucci.

Gloucester Faculty may contact Judy Cirucci to request a packet. ​
What is One Book, One College?
Initiated in the 2004-2005 academic year, OBOC is a college- and community-wide reading program with the goal of fostering a reading community that encourages reading for pleasure, critical thinking, global awareness, and multicultural understanding.

Each year the OBOC committee chooses one special book to be read by students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. Workshops, discussions, lectures, and/or other related activities are organized around the selected book during the Fall and Spring Semesters of that year. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the "One Book" into their classes across the curriculum.

The program's highlight is the much-anticipated annual author visit to campus. Participation in OBOC is not limited to Cumberland's campus, however. OBOC invites community members to read its selection and welcomes them to attend the annual author visit and book signing on a first-come, first-served basis.

​Committee Members 
  • Karen Arenz, Instructor of English - Cumberland
  • Josh Austin, Assistant Professor of English - Cumberland
  • Erin Brabazon, Professor of English - Gloucester
  • Judy Cirucci, Chair, Sr. Instructional Designer - Cumberland
  • Anya Cronin, Professor of English - Gloucester
  • Yolanda Garcia Balicki, Esq., RCSJ Board of Trustees Member
  • Kelly Hayden, Librarian - Cumberland
  • Sharon Kewish, Past Chair, Professor Emeritus - English
  • Susan Nardelli, Special Assistant to the President-Institutional Advancement
  • Sandra Reid, Professor of Nursing - Cumberland
  • Meredith Vicente, Director of Special Services - Cumberland
Previous Selections

  • 2021 -2022 The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
  • 2020-2021 Maid by Stephanie Land
  • 2019-2020 Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
  • 2018-2019 The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff
  • 2017-2018 The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  • 2016-2017 Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston​
  • 2015-2016 The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • 2014-2015 Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan
  • 2013-2014 A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls Lanier
  • 2012-2013 Faithless by Joyce Carol Oates
  • 2011-2012 Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
  • 2010-2011 The Soloist by Steve Lopez
  • 2009-2010 Strong Medicine Speaks by Amy Hill Hearth
  • 2008-2009 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • 2007-2008 Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell
  • 2006-2007 Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • 2005-2006 My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • 2004-2005 The Color of Water by James McBride

Gloucester; Cumberland