Photo via One Book Baltimore

One Book Baltimore has selected writer Tami Charles and her novel Becoming Beatriz for their fourth annual program.

One Book Baltimore launched in 2018 with the goal of promoting literacy for 7th and 8th graders in Baltimore City. Each year, the organization selects a book to be read by students, families, and community members, with the hope of facilitating dialogue. 

This year, the program will be launched with a virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. The event will feature a conversation between Tami Charles and Baltimore City 7th and 8th graders, moderated by WBAL-TV 11’s Mindy Basara. 

Becoming Beatriz, set in New Jersey in 1984, tells the story of fifteen year old Beatriz, who witnesses her brother’s death. Beatriz struggles to navigate her way out of gang life, and to realize her dream of becoming a dancer. 

“In writing Becoming Beatriz, my goal was to inspire readers that your circumstances don’t define your character,” said Tami Charles in a statement, “If you believe and work hard enough, even the most impossible dreams are a heartbeat away.”

For each of the past three years, more than 11,000 Baltimore City students across 80 middle schools have received a copy of One Book’s selected book. 

The program is a collaboration between the T. Rowe Price Foundation, Baltimore City Public Schools, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and other community partners. 

The Pratt Library will have copies of Becoming Beatriz for community members to check out, and will have free programming surrounding the book at all 22 locations this fall. 

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