Announcing the 2023 One Book, One Philadelphia SelectionsBy Bridget G. Wed, February 15, 2023
One Book, One Philadelphia is a signature project of the Free Library of Philadelphia that promotes literacy, library usage, and civic dialogue by encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book.
From April 20–June 22, dozens of free-to-the-public events, discussions, and creative workshops will center on the following titles:
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Willis Wu is a background actor in his own life. In Charles Yu’s National Book Award-winning novel, written as a screenplay, Willis is simply filler. As Generic Asian Man on the cop show Black and White, he plays an often wordless part, but he wants to be so much more. He dreams of becoming Kung Fu Guy. It's the best role possible for a man who looks like him — or so he thinks. Willis and his loved ones try to live meaningful lives in a cultural scene that was not created for them, making spaces for humor and love in their little single occupancy apartments above the Golden Palace restaurant. Soon, Willis finds his dream becoming reality. He begins to wonder about the cost of becoming Kung Fu Guy — and what role is truly right for him.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Middle-grade readers are invited to join the conversation with American Born Chinese. This funny graphic novel features three stories. The Monkey King, a master of kung fu and a notable figure in Chinese fables, wants to be a god. Jin Wang moves across the country and has to join a new third grade class, where he worries about fitting in. And Danny, a popular white kid, struggles to understand his embarrassing and offensive cousin Chin-Kee, a cartoonish Chinese stereotype who won’t leave him alone. A surprising twist brings the stories together. Maybe their individual problems aren’t so distinct — or new — after all.
Drawn Together by Minh Lê; illustrated by Dan Santat
In this children’s book, a child and his grandfather spend a day together. They don’t speak the same language until their love for art connects them. Sometimes you don’t need words to find community.
Please check back in April for the full events calendar, and review the Programming Guide for an overview of the 2023 One Book, One Philadelphia season, discussion questions for Interior Chinatown, and other resources.