Headshot of Jacqueline Woodson, woman with afro, glasses, wearing jeans jacket
Photo from Jacqueline Woodson's Facebook page.

One Book Baltimore returns for its sixth year, featuring National Book Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius Grant” writer Jacqueline Woodson.

One Book Baltimore provides Baltimore City’s 7th and 8th graders, families, and community members the chance to connect through literature by reading the same book. This year’s book will be Woodson’s novel “Before The Ever After,” which explores the struggles of an African American family as they move forward after their glory days have passed.

During the kickoff on Nov. 7 at Enoch Pratt Free Library, hundreds of students from Baltimore City schools will receive their personal copy of “Before The Ever After” and hear from the author. Literacy programing will follow throughout the winter, virtually and in-person, at library branches across the city.  Woodson will also return to Baltimore over the winter to visit selected schools.

Each year, more than 11,000 7th and 8th grade students from 80 Baltimore City middle schools receive a copy of the One Book Baltimore author’s book. They then participate in discussions and programming intended to spark conversations about key themes in the book, focusing on how to promote change in their community.

In addition to students and representatives from Baltimore City Public Schools being in attendance, Enoch Pratt Free Library President and CEO Heidi Daniel will be there for the kickoff. John Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, and Tina Hike-Hubbard, chief of Communications, Engagement, and Enrollment for Baltimore City Public Schools will also be there.

Previous One Book Baltimore authors have included Baltimore’s D. Watkins; National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds; New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone; and award-winning authors Tami Charles and Yamile Saied Méndez. In 2020, One Book Baltimore was runner up for the Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation.

One Book Baltimore’s 2023/2024 Launch will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023 at 11 a.m. at the Enoch Pratt Central Library, located at 400 Cathedral St. in Baltimore.

For more information about the 2023 One Book Baltimore Launch Event, please click this link.

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