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ONE BOOK, ONE PHILADELPHIA KICKS OFF SEASON WITH AUTHOR JACQUELINE WOODSON
The Free Library’s flagship literacy program opened its 2018 season with an evening of conversation, reading, and performance
The Free Library of Philadelphia kicked off the 16th season of its annual One Book, One Philadelphia program on January 17 with a special evening of discussion and performance.
The evening began with opening remarks by Free Library of Philadelphia President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon, who recognized primary sponsors the Field Foundation, the Lenfest Foundation, and PECO, as well as sponsor The Philadelphia Culture Fund and media partners Harmelin Media, Keystone Outdoor Advertising, and WHYY.
“Another Brooklyn is a beautiful, poignant read that sheds light on the trials of growing up, against a cityscape backdrop Philadelphians will appreciate,” said Reardon. “Jacqueline’s impactful work for all ages has led to a One Book season packed with engaging pathways to join in the citywide conversation.”
Marie Field, Chair of One Book, One Philadelphia, also spoke. “Through the lyrical power of Jacqueline Woodson’s poetic storytelling, readers of Another Brooklyn will find themselves empathizing with the dreams and longings of the four young girls who find comfort in their friendships as they grow up on the mean streets of 1970’s Bushwick,” said Field. “As with all outstanding literature, Another Brooklyn reminds us that while the particular circumstances of our lives might differ, we share a common humanity.”
Featured author Jacqueline Woodson, in conversation with WHYY’s Katie Colaneri, discussed identity, shifting cultural landscapes, and other themes her writing for all ages covers. The evening concluded with a performance inspired by Another Brooklyn by 2016–2017 Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher, with members of her band, The Afroeaters.
The evening’s event was just one of more than 100 engaging and educational One Book programs that will take place through March 14. Book discussions, children’s craft workshops, historical presentations, culinary events, panel discussions, and film screenings are just some of the wide variety of events offered in One Book, One Philadelphia’s 16th season.
Another Brooklyn—a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award—tells the story of young August, who is full of promise and hope when her fragmented family moves from the American South to Brooklyn, New York. While nurtured by friendships with three other neighborhood girls, August comes of age, faces challenges, and chases her dreams. Set in a 1970s transitioning urban landscape, Another Brooklyn is described as “beautifully lyrical” by The Guardian and “powerfully insightful” by The New York Times. The novel has been praised by The Washington Post as one that “mixes wonder and grief so poignantly. Woodson manages to remember what cannot be documented, to suggest what cannot be said. Another Brooklyn is another name for poetry.”
Jacqueline Woodson, a National Book Award winner for her novel Brown Girl Dreaming, is the acclaimed author of more than 30 books for children and young adults. She has long been a friend of the Free Library, participating in the Author Events Series and in the 2016 One Book, One Philadelphia season, when her generational picture book Show Way was the children’s selection. Another Brooklyn is her first novel for adults in 20 years.
Companion books for teens and children are also a part of the program. Because of the breadth of Woodson’s work, for the first time One Book’s children’s and middle-grade companion books will be by the same author as the featured selection. The middle-grade companion book, Woodson’s memoir-in-verse Brown Girl Dreaming, recalls a childhood love of words, libraries, stories, and early attempts to write. The children’s companion book, This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration, tells the story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration, starting with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree that, little does she know, will be passed down for three generations.
The One Book website at freelibrary.org/onebook is devoted to more resources, including downloadable discussion guides, recommended reading lists, event calendars, and more.
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About One Book, One Philadelphia
Founded in 2003 by the Free Library and the Mayor’s Office, One Book motivates tens of thousands of people to read the featured selection and participate in discussions, events, workshops, classes, and more. All Free Library locations will have several copies of Another Brooklyn—as well as the 2018 middle-grade companion book, Brown Girl Dreaming, and children’s companion book, This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration—for customers to borrow with a Free Library card. In addition, the Free Library will have ebook and audiobook copies available for download from its website.
About the Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.
Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850