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One Book, One Philadelphia

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This year marked the 10th anniversary of One Book, One Philadelphia and it was special. More than 2,500 books went to schools and non-profits and programming announcements were made in three languages: English, French, and Haitian Kreyol.

Community partners grew to 600 organizations including schools, churches, synagogues, theaters, museums, orchestras, community agencies, book groups, and private businesses.

In the first selection, The Price of a Child, the issue was freedom from slavery and looking back at other choices, personal struggles dominate. In The Soloist, it was homelessness. Persepolis told about growing up in a restricted society.

The Things That They Carried depicted the burdens soldiers at war carried on their backs and in their minds. The lives of Cubans and an American Indian wanting to break from his surroundings resonated with many young people here.

That you could find two strangers on a bus reading and discussing one of the books was a unique experience that needs to continue.

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