One Book, One San Diego is our region's premier literary program, presented in partnership between KPBS and over 80 public libraries, service organizations and educational institutions. Now in its 17th year, the purpose is to bring our community closer together through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.
Each year, One Book, One San Diego features one book for adults, one for teens, one for kids and one for Spanish language readers (One Book Sin Fronteras).
In the early part of the calendar year, the community is asked to nominate titles the entire community should read together. The Advisory Committees review these nominations and ultimately select titles they believe fit the selection criteria best. In the fall, KPBS and our community partners host events inspired by the books selected.
Introducing the 2023 One Book, One San Diego selections!
2023 SELECTION FOR ADULTS
“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” Heather McGhee, New York Times Bestseller
Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis of 2008 to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policymaking. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?
McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.
But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own. "The Sum of Us" is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America. It leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.
2023 SELECTION FOR TEENS
In this timely and moving novel in verse, a preteen girl navigates seventh grade while facing mental health challenges. A hopeful, poetic story about learning to advocate for the help and understanding you deserve.
How do you speak up when it feels like no one is listening?
The end of elementary school?
Worst time of my life.
And the start of middle school?
I just wasn’t quite right.
But this year?
YO VOY A MI.
Seventh grade is going to be Iveliz’s year. She’s going to make a new friend, help her abuela Mimi get settled after moving from Puerto Rico, and she is not going to get into any more trouble at school. . . .
Except is that what happens? Of course not. Because no matter how hard Iveliz tries, sometimes people say things that just make her so mad. And worse, Mimi keeps saying Iveliz’s medicine is unnecessary—even though it helps Iveliz feel less sad. But how do you explain your feelings to others when you’re not even sure what’s going on yourself?
Powerful and compassionate, Andrea Beatriz Arango’s debut navigates mental health, finding your voice, and discovering that those who really love you will stay by your side no matter what.
*Also available in Spanish
2023 SELECTION FOR KIDS
From debut author Antwan Eady and artist Gracey Zhang comes a glowing tale about the young dreaming big. A perfect story to demonstrate how pride in where we come from can bring a shining confidence.
When Nigel looks up at the moon, his future is bright. He imagines himself as…an astronaut, a dancer, a superhero, too!
Among the stars, he twirls. With pride, his chest swells. And his eyes, they glow. Nigel is the most brilliant body in the sky.
But it’s Career Week at school, and Nigel can’t find the courage to share his dreams. It’s easy to whisper them to the moon, but not to his classmates—especially when he already feels out of place.
*Also available in Spanish
WHERE TO GET THE BOOKS!
The 2023 selections may be purchased online from The Library Shop, https://www.libraryshopsd.org/one-book.
The Library Shop is a well-curated nonprofit book & gift shop catering to librarians, library lovers, literary obsessives and book nerds inside the Downtown Central Library. Proceeds support the entire San Diego Public Library System.
Or check out all of the selections for free through the San Diego County Library at an in-person branch or through Overdrive, https://sdcl.overdrive.com/. All three books (in English) are available in audiobook and e-book forms.
- One Book
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You can now help us find the next One Book, One San Diego selections by submitting your nomination at any time! This online nomination form is now open year round.
Please submit nominations prior to March 1 for titles to be considered for the 2024 One Book, One San Diego season. Share your favorite title or two today!
The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books is Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023 at the University of San Diego campus, with dozens of author panels, readings, children's activities and booksellers.
One Book, One San Diego has announced the selections for the 2022 region-wide read: “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett has been chosen for adult readers; “The Magic Fish” written and illustrated by Trung Le Nguyen for teens and tweens; and “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade for children.
2020 One Book, One San Diego Selections: 'They Called Us Enemy,' 'Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind,' and 'Nos Llamaron Enemigo'Focus on Japanese American experiences in WWII internment camps
One Book is funded by the Linden Root Dickinson Foundation. Additional support comes from the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, the Frieda Berlinski Foundation, and the Payne Family Foundation.
One Book is a partnership between KPBS, the San Diego Public Library and the San Diego County Library, and the following organizations:
- San Diego Public Library
- San Diego County Library
- Alliance San Diego
- Asociación de Bibliotecarios de Baja California
- Barnes & Noble
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego
- CETYS Universidad
- Coronado Public Library
- Crawford High School
- Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc.
- Escondido Public Library
- The Friends of the San Diego Public Library
- Girl Scouts San Diego
- Hoover High School
- Juvenile Court Book Club
- Little Fish Comic Book Studio
- Museum of Us
- Oceanside Public Library
- Point Loma Nazarene University’s Ryan Library
- Reach Out & Read San Diego
- Rosa Parks Elementary School
- San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
- San Diego City College
- San Diego Council on Literacy
- San Diego County Office of Education
- San Diego Diplomacy Council
- San Diego Law Library
- San Diego Public Library Foundation
- San Diego Refugee Tutoring
- Cajon Valley Union School District
- Calexico Unified School District
- Central Elementary School
- San Diego State University’s Love Library
- San Diego State University Imperial Valley Student Accommodation Services Center
- San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus Library
- San Diego Unified School District
- San Diego Union-Tribune
- School in the Park
- Somali Family Service of San Diego
- Southwestern College
- T.R.A.C.E. Alternative School
- University of San Diego’s Copley Library
- UC San Diego Library
- Wilson Middle School
- Worldview Project