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Press Release
For Immediate Release
Dec. 13, 2011


For More Information Contact:
Matthew Roberts, Director of Communications
Phone: (602) 542-4283
(602) 540-3521



Twitter: @therealAZsos

Program Increases Knowledge and Appreciation of Arizona's Unique History

PHOENIX  – As we celebrate the State Centennial in 2012, Ken Bennett and the Arizona State Library are kicking off the annual event ONEBOOKAZ and ONEBOOKAZ for Kids with a focus on our state’s history.

This year’s books are Arizona: 100 Years Grand: by Lisa Schnebly Heidinger and the ONEBOOKAZ for Kids is Arizona Way Out West & Witty by Lynda Exley and Conrad Storad.

ONEBOOKAZ was created to bring communities together through literature. Beginning in March every year, this program encourages communities across the state to read the same book at the same time and participate in discussions and programs centered around that book.

"This fantastic program fosters a sense of community through the shared experience of reading the same book,” said Secretary of State Ken Bennett.  Participating in special events like panel discussions and travelling presentations enhances our knowledge and appreciation of the Grand Canyon State’s history and culture.  With Arizona’s 100th birthday only a few months away, participants can read their way to the Centennial with highlighted topics and themes unique to Arizona."

Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, who wrote Arizona: 100 Years Grand, is the 2012 ONEBOOKAZ author.  Lisa Schnebly Heidinger’s love of Arizona is as deep as her roots; the town of Sedona was named for her great-grandmother, Sedona Schnebly.    For 30 years, Lisa has been a journalist, finding and recording Arizona’s stories, first as a newspaper and television reporter, then as a columnist and author.  She has written six books about aspects of Arizona, and countless articles.

Her work on Arizona: 100 Years Grand began six years ago.  “Even the research was so much fun, it was the first time in my life I ever forgot to eat,” she says.  Besides writing our state’s official centennial book, Lisa serves on the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission and the Arizona Centennial Commission, as well as the Centennial Foundation Board. 

Lynda Exley and Conrad J. Storad, who wrote Arizona Way Out West & Witty are the ONEBOOKAZ for Kids authors.

An independent writer/editor since 1995, Lynda Exley is currently the editor for the SanTan Sun News; editor, writer and publicist for Five Star Publications; and an editor for Arizona Parenting. She is also a former editor for Houston Parent, writer for LA Parent and associate editor for Ahwatukee Monthly among other publications.

The co-founder of KidsCanPublish.com, Exley is also a public speaker on the topics of writing, publishing, public relations and Arizona history for both adults and children in grades one through eight. She has spoken to thousands of students in just the past few years.

An award-winning author of more than 30 science and nature books for children and young adults, Storad’s Don't Call Me Pig! (A Javelina Story) was selected by Arizona’s 2005 Governor, Janet Napolitano, as part of her program to promote reading. More than 93,000 Arizona first-graders received a special edition copy. In 2001, the Arizona Library Association honored Storad with the Judy Goddard Award as "Arizona Children's Author of the Year.

Storad's other picture books include: Rattlesnake Rules, Desert Night Shift, Life in the Slow Lane, Lizards for Lunch and Don't Ever Cross That Road! Storad is also author of a series of books written for readers in second through fourth grade.  A newly revised edition of Sonoran Desert A to Z, Storad's popular coloring/learning book, which includes Little Lords of the Desert, Flying Colors and Ancient Harvest, was published in 2009. Seven new books by Storad will be released later in 2011.

This program is supported with funds granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a Division of the Secretary of State, under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

For more information on ONEBOOKAZ and a list of events around the state, visit www.onebookaz.org.  If you or someone you know has a visual impairment that makes it difficult to read the print version of this year's ONEBOOKAZ, please call the Braille and Talking Book Library at 602-255-5578 or toll free 1-800-255-5578.

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The Secretary of State's Biography
Secretary Ken Bennett's Biography
Ken Bennett's Photo
Secretary Ken Bennett's Photo