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Annual PLS Reads looks at mental health

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

The Pioneer Library System is taking its communities into a deep look at the importance of mental health as the theme for this year’s PLS Reads initiative.

Readers across the three-county PLS area will interact with the theme through the novel “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine,” written by Gail Honeyman.

Both the Shawnee and Tecumseh libraries will host community discussions of the book, each led by a mental health professional onsite to facilitate.

The Tecumseh Public Library will host its PLS Reads discussion at 6 p.m. Monday, March 16, with the Shawnee library’s similar event scheduled in a month, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16. Readers can obtain a copy of the book through either library in advance of the discussions.

The book, selected as part of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club in 2019, is also a former No. 1 New York Times bestseller. It focuses on the topic of mental health through its main character, Eleanor Oliphant and her adventures in daily life as she makes her way after a difficult past. It was the winner of the Costa First Novel Award and the British Book Awards Book of the Year in 2018.

For the past 13 years, PLS has participated in both The Big Read and PLS Big Read, inspired by the National Endowment for the Arts. Activities now will continue into the future under the “PLS Reads” theme. Multiple libraries will host activities in the coming months to continue the discussion in their communities.

PLS Reads is sponsored by the Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation and the Pioneer Library System Foundation.