The 2011 One Book, One Philadelphia program features two companion book for children, teens, and family reading.

Featured Book

War Dances - book cover

War Dances by Sherman Alexie

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, Sherman Alexie’s War Dances is a collection of short stories and poems that examine with humor and grace the intricate facets of human relationships. The title story features a man who reflects on his father’s death when suddenly confronted with his own mortality, and the poem “Ode to Small Town Sweethearts” weaves a witty tale of the trials of young love. Using skillfully crafted prose that is at turns shocking, funny, and poignant, War Dances takes readers on a grand tour of life in all its complexity.

Companion Books

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - book cover

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, with art by Ellen Forney

Inspired by Sherman Alexie’s experiences as a child on the Spokane Indian reservation and winner of the National Book Award, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian chronicles the life of Arnold “Junior” Spirit, a 14-year old Native American who leaves his lackluster reservation school after being encouraged by a teacher to attend the wealthy, all-white high school down the road. Filled with candid observations about teenage life on the reservation and highlighted by illustrations from Junior’s “diary,” this humorous and heartbreaking novel tells the inspirational story of one teen’s search for identity as he struggles to overcome the circumstances of poverty and disability to achieve success in life.

The Good Luck Cat - book cover

The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo, with illustrations by Paul Lee

Acclaimed Native American poet Joy Harjo tells the story of how a young girl’s pet cat named Woogie brings luck to her family despite its own peculiar string of misadventures. Woogie encounters angry dogs, tumbles from a tree, and even takes a spin in the family’s clothes dryer. Illustrated with beautiful acrylic paintings that subtly weave in details about the narrator’s Native American heritage, The Good Luck Cat follows Woogie through a series of narrow escapes and the young girl’s frantic search for Woogie on the day he mysteriously goes missing.



One Book, One Philadelphia