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One Book, One San Diego Announces 2021 Titles

Focus on disability civil rights, experiences and inclusion

One Book, One San Diego has announced the selections for the 2021 region-wide read: “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist'' by Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner was chosen for adult readers; “All the Way to the Top” by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Nabi Ali was chosen for children; and “When Stars Are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy for teens and tweens.

Each year, One Book, One San Diego features one book for adults, one for young adults, one for kids and one for Spanish language readers. The Spanish language selection has yet to be announced.

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist'' tells the personal story of Heumann’s lifelong campaign to gain respect and acceptance in a world that didn’t initially recognize the rights of the disabled. Paralyzed from polio at a young age, she became one of the most influential disability rights activists in US history.

“I’d like to thank you very much for having selected my book ‘Being Heumann’ for this year’s One Book, One San Diego community read program,” says Heumann. “I am ever grateful for the opportunity to be able to take my life and put it on paper in a way that I believe many people are really embracing.”

On September 23, One Book, One San Diego will host a free virtual event featuring an interview with Heumann. Event details and registration are available at www.kpbs.org/onebook.

All the Way to the Top” by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Nabi Ali chronicles the life of Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child. At the age of eight, she participated in the Capitol Crawl, a public demonstration that preceded the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“I am honored that One Book One, San Diego has chosen ‘All the Way to the Top’ for their young children’s category. I hope that the book’s important message continues to inspire and empower young readers everywhere to continue to use their voices to create change,” says Keelan-Chaffins.

“Jennifer's story is all about how kids can change the world. I'm thrilled that One Book, One San Diego is helping us share that story with more kids. We need their voices to make our world a better place,” says Pimentel.

A National Book Award Finalist, “When Stars Are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy is a graphic novel telling Omar Mohamed’s story of growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya.

“Omar's story speaks to the power of community, and I'm grateful the community of San Diego will be sharing his story. Books are powerful agents of empathy and compassion, and I hope readers enjoy getting to know Omar and his family and community through the pages of this book,” says Jamieson.

Free discussions, film screenings, lectures and workshops around the 2021 selections will be hosted by public libraries and other partner locations throughout the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022. Find details at www.kpbs.org/onebook.

KPBS Media Contact

Heather Milne Barger, hmilne@kpbs.org

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