October 17, 2018
The 2019 selection for "One Book, One Philadelphia," the city-wide initiative to foster more readership and community for all ages is Jesmyn Ward's 2017 novel, "Sing, Unburied, Sing."
The new season will mark the 17th season of the program spearheaded by the Free Library of Philadelphia. From January 16 through March 13, 2019, dozens of events, including book discussions, live performances, and film screenings will be scheduled to facilitate dialogue among readers.
"Sing, Unburied, Sing," follows a young boy from Mississippi as he embarks on a road trip and encounters ghosts – real and imagined – along with his mother as she suffers from meth addiction.
“In this unprecedented and unique novel Jesmyn Ward employs a transfixing sense of the supernatural to tell a powerful true-to-life tale," Siobhan A. Reardon, Free Library president and director, said in a statement.
"While set in the rural South and recent past, its concerns and messages resonate with every facet of contemporary America. We are delighted to shine a light on and share 'Sing, Unburied, Sing' to bring the city together, raise awareness of our society’s challenges and promise, and foster a love of reading and learning in people of all ages and walks of life.”
The January kickoff event will also feature Ward, who is the first African-American author and first woman to receive two National Book Awards. Her memoir, "Men We Reaped," is the One Book adult companion selection for 2019.
Other youth companion titles include "Ghost Boys" by Jewell Parker Rhodes and "Last Stop on Market Street" by Matt de la Pena.