Book Cover - Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The One Book, One Philadelphia Selection Committee chose Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline as its 2015 selection. Orphan Train is the compelling story of Vivian, a 91-year-old widow once orphaned as a child, and Molly, a troubled teen who has been shuffled from one unstable foster home to another. The two women develop a bond, with Vivian treasuring her Irish immigrant roots and Molly finding comfort in her ancestral Native American tradition. The novel sheds light on an era when thousands of orphaned children were taken from crowded cities to face uncertain futures in the rural Midwest and connects with the importance of heritage and memories in shaping who we are, the value of intergenerational relationships, and the fundamental power of family. The Library Journal calls it, "A compelling story about loss, adaptability, and courage... With compassion and delicacy Kline presents a little-known chapter of American history."

One Book, One Philadelphia is a joint project of the Mayor's Office and the Free Library of Philadelphia that has the goal of promoting literacy and encouraging the Philadelphia community to come together through reading and discussing a single book. Each year, lectures, discussions, films, workshops, exhibitions, and performances illuminate both specific and universal themes within a featured selection. The 2015 program ran from January 22 to March 19.

Hundreds of community partners developed programs and contributed resources to help ensure a successful year of One Book, One Philadelphia. We are grateful for our sponsors and partners for their tremendous support!

If you have questions or would like more information about One Book, please call 215-814-3514 or e-mail We hope that you enjoyed our 13th year of One Book, One Philadelphia.

One Book, One Philadelphia