2022 One Book, One Philadelphia: Sharing Generational Stories

By Mary Marques RSS Thu, March 3, 2022

"Our goal is to always promote literacy, encourage civic dialog, and amplify community storytelling." – Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia.

This year’s One Book, One Philadelphia selection, My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hudes, commemorates 20 years of the city-wide program.

Free Library Director, Kelly Richards, made the official announcement this past January 26 in a symbolic virtual ceremony through the Free Library’s YouTube channel. These two decades of community conversations allowed readers to foster an environment of dialog, opening unfamiliar horizons for reflection, and unique ways of understanding diverse generational experiences. In addition, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also announced in the same video that Quiara Alegría Hudes will appear at the Free Library on April 27 to inaugurate the seven weeks of literacy programs.

Readers will be able to participate in conversations about the main themes of this year's book: activism, women's equal rights, intercultural dynamics, multilingualism, Puerto Rican heritage, social injustices, religion, santeria, spirituality, symbology, body language, acceptance, resilience, survival, and divorce, among other topics. In this interview, published by GBH Forum Network, Hudes talked about her memoir. Let’s watch the interview!

In addition, Richards also mentioned that the two complementary book titles that will invite young people and children to participate in this community conversation are stories that will amplify diverse voices. For the teen audience, the One Book, One Philadelphia committee selected Never Look Back by the Bronx-born writer Lilliam Rivera. In a video conversation published by the American Writers Museum, the author states that in her book she incorporated things that she loves: poetry, music, and the mysteries of the scary underworld, in a narrative love story that captured the reader’s imagination. Let’s listen to the interview!

The children’s companion book is Alma and How She Got Her Name / Alma y Cómo Obtuvo Su Nombre by Peruvian author and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal. In this presentation, the author explains that this particular narration talks about the importance of honoring the history behind our own names. In this interview by Candlewick Press, Martinez-Neal tells us the story of little Alma, the protagonist of the story.

For more information about the programs that will be presented during this literacy festival from April 27 to June 15, please visit www.freelibrary.org/onebook.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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