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PHILADELPHIA – The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP), the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation (Foundation), and the Office of the Mayor today announced that True Biz by Sara Nović has been chosen as the 2024 One Book, One Philadelphia featured reading selection. This announcement marks the 22nd year of the program.

True Biz is a story of communication across radically different experiences. It involves three characters at the River Valley School for the Deaf. Charlie is a new transfer student. Austin is the school’s golden boy. February is the school’s Headmistress and a child of deaf adults. Together, they try to find their footing during a new school year, navigating major life changes and an impending threat to their school that may change them forever.

“Reading is fundamental,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker, “I cannot thank the Free Library of Philadelphia enough for their dedication to providing spaces for our communities to improve literacy and create civic dialogue across our City. The One Book, One Philadelphia program is a great way to unify our City and inspire a love of reading for youth and adults.”

One Book, One Philadelphia is an acclaimed literacy and civic dialogue initiative that encourages the greater Philadelphia region to come together through reading and conversation. This announcement marks the beginning of the FLP’s new reading period, during which Philadelphians are invited to delve into the featured selection.

Young readers will join the conversation with discussions and programs inspired by youth companion titles such as You’re Welcome, Universe, written and illustrated by Whitney Gardner, and Can Bears Ski?, written by Raymond Antrobus and illustrated by Polly Dunbar.

“One Book, One Philadelphia continues to create a shared reading experience that promotes learning from different cultures and perspectives, which helps us to better understand not only the world around us but also each other,” said Kelly Richards, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. “This year’s selection, True Biz, is no different. With its emphasis on education and belonging, it is as enlightening as it is heartwarming.”

The 2024 One Book, One Philadelphia program season will officially kick off at the Parkway Central Library on April 8 at 7:30 p.m. The launch event will feature a conversation between author Sara Nović and Melissa Draganac-Hawk, Principal of Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. A registration link to attend the kick-off event will be posted on the One Book, One Philadelphia webpage today. An American Sign Language interpreter will also attend the kick-off event.

This season’s programming will include dozens of events for all ages. Programming will explore themes from True Biz and the youth companion titles including, language and connection, Deaf cultures and histories, accessibility, education, and the desire for self-determination. Details can be found on

The 2024 One Book, One Philadelphia program is endowed by the Joseph and Marie Field Fund and sponsored by the Field Foundation. The program is also made possible through generous support from PECO and The Sylvia W. and Randle M. Kauders Foundation, secured by the Foundation. Media sponsors include Audacy, ClearChannel Outdoor, Keystone Outdoor, WHYY, and WURD.

In addition, donations made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program enable thousands of School District of Philadelphia students and teachers to participate in the One Book, One Philadelphia each year by providing free copies of the selected books and accompanying curricula. The Foundation extends its gratitude to the corporations that have made this important initiative possible through their EITC gifts.

All FLP locations will have copies of True Biz and the youth companion titles for customers to borrow with a Free Library card, as well as e-book copies and downloadable audiobooks available for check-out from

Images of the event can be found here.

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About the Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and The Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 31,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at the Parkway Central Library and The Rosenbach. With more than 5 million in-person visits and 5 million more online annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.

About One Book, One Philadelphia
Founded in 2003 by the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Office of the Mayor, One Book, One Philadelphia motivates tens of thousands of people to read an annual featured selection and participate in programming that encourages empathy, understanding, and dialogue among Philadelphia’s many communities.

About Sara Nović
Sara Nović is a writer, activist, and translator based in Philadelphia. Her New York Times bestselling book Girl at War won the American Library Association’s Alex Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She holds a master’s of fine arts degree from Columbia University, where she studied fiction and literary translation.