2024 One Book One Philadelphia
True Biz cover

True Biz

About this year's One Book One Philadelphia
The River Valley School for the Deaf is a haven for new kid Charlie, golden boy Austin, and February, the headmistress. When the school faces closure, all struggle with what this might mean for them and for their community.
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Sara Nović portrait

Sara Nović

Author of True Biz
Image Courtesy of Zach Stone
Sara Nović is an author, translator, and educator with an MFA in fiction and literary translation from Columbia University. She is the author of the two bestselling novels Girl at War and True Biz. Nović is a deaf rights activist and has written about Deaf culture for the New York Times, Slate, CNN, and the Washington Post. She lives in Philadelphia.

How to Participate

It's Free and for Everyone

One Book, One Philadelphia is an annual series centered around a book chosen by the Free Library of Philadelphia. Seven weeks of events aim to foster literacy, library usage, and civic dialogue through all corners of the city.

April 8th through May 22nd, read along with One Book, One Philadelphia by accessing this year's title at any neighborhood library branch or the Free Library's catalog. During the seven weeks of One Book, One Philadelphia, a variety of programs and workshops will take place online and in person throughout the city. All events and workshops are free to attend. You can find more information about upcoming One Book events on the Free Library's calendar, or by following along on social media.

Happy participant at a 2023 One Book One Philadelphia event.
Companion Book: For Teens
You're Welcome Universe
When Julia finds a slur scrawled on the wall of her school, Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a mural of her own. But when she is expelled for her illegal graffiti, she becomes the only deaf student at her new school. Julia's art is her only outlet in this new environment. She soon realizes she may not be the only graffiti artist in town...
Whitney Gardner portrait
Author of You're Welcome Universe
Whitney Gardner is an author and cartoonist based in the Pacific Northwest. After working as an art teacher and school librarian, in 2018 she published You're Welcome, Universe, which won the Schneider Family Book Award. Her second novel, Chaotic Good, was nominated for a 2019 White Pine Award.
Companion Book: For Kids
Can Bears Ski?
Little Bear feels the world around him, but sometimes he doesn't quite understand what his friends are saying. They all say, "Can bears ski?" When he and Dad Bear go to the audiologist, they learn that Little Bear has been experiencing deafness. With new hearing aids, Little Bear's world is LOUD and will take some getting used to-but with the love and support of Dad Bear, Little Bear will find his way.
Raymond Antrobus portrait
Author of Can Bears Ski?
Raymond Antrobus is an award-winning deaf poet from London. He has three published books of poems and has had poems published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, and The Poetry Review. Can Bears Ski?, his debut picture book, was selected as an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer honoree in 2021.
Polly Dunbar portrait
Illustrator of Can Bears Ski?
Polly Dunbar is a partially deaf author-illustrator. She is best known for her self-illustrated children's books Penguin and the Tilly and Friends series, as well as Hello, Mum, an illustrated memoir of motherhood and her first book for adults.


Program Made Possible in part by
  • Marie & Joseph Field
  • PECO
  • The Sylvia W. and Randle M. Kauders Foundation
  • WURD
  • WHYY. PBS. npr.
  • Keystone Outdoor Advertising
  • Clear Channel Outdoor
  • Audacy
  • Boom Chicka
The number 20 created by previous One Book, One Philadelphia books.

One Book, One Philadelphia has been active for over 20 years.

Discover previous titles explored by our program.

The One Book, One Philadelphia series was founded in 2003 by the Free Library and the Office of the Mayor with support from Marie Field, who also served as chair of One Book until 2022. The program motivates tens of thousands of people annually to read a featured selection and participate in programming that encourages empathy, understanding, and dialogue among Philadelphia's many communities.