For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Mayor John F. Street today revealed the featured selection for the 2007 One Book, One Philadelphia 5th anniversary program. At the ceremony, Mayor Street announced:

“Carlos Eire’s powerful memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy (Published by Free Press) has been picked by the One Book, One Philadelphia Selection Committee to be the 2007 featured book. Winner of the 2003 National Book Award, this memoir tells of Mr. Eire’s experience as one of 14,000 children airlifted from Cuba through Operation Pedro Pan.

Chosen for its exceptional writing and timeliness regarding issues of immigration, it will provide an inspiring centerpiece for reading, discussions, and programming throughout greater Philadelphia during the program period.

To engage the widest possible program audience and to encourage multi-generational reading, two thematically related companion books for children, teens, and families have also been selected. The two companion titles are Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Coming to America: the Story of Immigration, by Betsy Maestro. Both books provide children with the opportunity to further understand the topic of immigration and engage in discussion about its history.”

Marie Field, Chair of One Book, One Philadelphia underscored the importance of broadening the reach of the program to include as many participants as possible. “The companion books are a wonderful idea. When kids hear older family members or friends discussing Eire’s book or immigration in general, they can draw on Esperanza Rising or Coming to America: the Story of Immigration and join in this very important discussion.”

For the fifth year, Independence Blue Cross was honored for its continued support of the program; the company has been the Lead Sponsor since 2003. Joseph A. Frick, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, who also spoke at the announcement, stated, “Five years ago, when Independence Blue Cross agreed to be the One Book, One Philadelphia Lead Sponsor in its inaugural year, we embarked on a partnership that has proven itself beyond our wildest expectations,” reinforcing his excitement with the success of the program. Other supporters, including the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, PECO, an Exelon Company, WHYY, Harmelin Media, Starr Restaurant Organization, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, and Temple University Health System were thanked for their support and generosity. Special thanks were given to PECO and the Commerce Department for their consistent support since the inception of the program. After the announcement, One Book author Carlos Eire spoke to a group of 300 high school students as part of the Field Family Teen Author Series.

One Book, One Philadelphia is a joint project of the Office of Mayor John F. Street and the Free Library of Philadelphia, whose mission is to promote reading, literacy, library usage, and community building throughout the Philadelphia region.

The One Book reading period will commence immediately and all Free Library branches will have copies of the selections. Last year, over 300 Community Partners throughout the region sponsored and helped promote events; this year’s calendar will again feature a variety of author lectures, panel and book club discussions, exhibits, performances, and other activities from January 15, 2007 through March 15, 2007. A full calendar of events will be available throughout the region beginning January 8, 2007 and also on the Library’s website at


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850