FAIRFIELD — The popular One Book One Town program is back, and was kicked off Tuesday at the Fairfield University Bookstore before a record crowd anticipating the big reveal.

The Fairfield Public Library and its community partners announced the 12th One Book One Town (OBOT) selection as “Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero,” by Christopher McDougall.

“While a rescue donkey seems an unlikely hero, Sherman’s story embraces the story of his human owner and the friends they make along the way,” said Claudia Silk, OBOT co-chair with Mary Coe. “When Christopher McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish Country. When Sherman arrived he was so sick he could barely move but Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed to heal Sherman’s body and mind. He decided to teach Sherman to run. He had heard about burro racing — where humans and donkeys run together in a call back to mining days — and decided the goal would be for them to enter the World Championship in Colorado.”

“Running with Sherman” is the heartwarming story of that rehabilitation as Chris, and a community of others, help Sherman transform from a scared, misunderstood animal into a confident champion and a trusted companion.

“It was so much fun to unveil the One Book One Town book with our community as First Selectwoman,” said Brenda Kupchick. “I am especially excited that the book is about a rescue donkey and his relationship with his rescuer. I can’t wait to start reading it along with our town. I appreciate and thank all the dedicated volunteers who work on this initiative each year.”

“The 12th One Book One Town selection finds an unlikely hero in a rescue donkey,” said State Senator Tony Hwang. “Sherman’s story embraces the unconditional love and kindness of its owner/author and the positive support of an entire community. It also explores the unique healing and reciprocal emotional bonds between animals and humans. I want to thank all of the contributors who made this magical event happen and share the gift of reading, wonderment and inspiration for our community. I love our libraries.”

Beverly Balaz, President of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, said, “I was thrilled to hear Christopher McDougall’s book, “Running with Sherman,” was chosen for Fairfield’s One Book One Town this morning. We all know there can be a special bond between humans and animals providing a unique healing power. I truly can’t wait to read it, great pick!”

OBOT’s book is chosen each year by a committee comprised of members of the Fairfield Public Library, the Pequot Library, Fairfield University, Fairfield University Bookstore and the Fairfield Public Schools. The event is made possible through sponsorships given by the Friends of the Fairfield Public Library, the Junior Women’s Club of Fairfield, the Fairfield Public Library, the Pequot Library and Fairfield University.

As a writer, McDougall covered wars in Rwanda and Angola as a Foreign Correspondent for the Associated Press before writing his bestselling book, “Born to Run.” His fascination with the limits of human potential led him to create the Outside Magazine web series, “Art of the Hero.”

McDougall will discuss “Running with Sherman” on Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University.