By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Imagine if everyone in the city read the same book at the same time– that’s the goal of One Book, One Philadelphia. The Free Library announced its 2016 book selection and the focus is the Civil War.
“Cold Mountain,” by Charles Frazier tells the story of a wounded Confederate solider desperate to get home to his love at a time when his country is divided by war.
“It’s a love story, it’s a romance story, it always gets people reading,” says Marie Field is Chair of One Book, One Philadelphia. She says “Cold Mountain” will inspire more than 100 events, including panel discussions, film screenings and musical performances all coinciding with the east coast premiere of the opera, “Cold Mountain,” composed by Jennifer Higdon.
“It’s probably one of the most profound selections that we’ve done,” says Siobhan Reardan, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. She says the companion book selection is “12 Years a Slave” by Solomon Northrop. It is about a free Black man kidnapped and sold into slavery. She says it will provide an alternative view of the Civil War.
There are also books for youth with the goal of safely sparking conversation about a controversial topic in American history.
“We want children talking about it, we want teens talking about it and we want our adults talking about it,” says Reardon.
Libraries will be stocked with the book selections in hard copy, e-book and audio book form. One Book, One Philadelphia programming kicks off in February 2 and will run through March 30, 2016.
For more information, visit: freelibrary.org/onebook.