This September – November, One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern (The One Book Project) is encouraging the entire community to share experiences related to a single book’s themes through discussions, educational programming, and entertainment. The read is meant to pull a community together, cross cultural divides, and enhance understanding of our diversity, all while supporting literacy.
Are you a part of a BOOK CLUB or CLASSROOM reading this year’s titles?
Submit your book group to the One Book Project to be included in the total count of readers. Open book groups can also choose to share meeting details and be listed online for potential newcomers (optional).
Are you interested in submitting an event to be a part of this year’s EVENTS LINEUP?
Learn more about event submission.
Primary Title The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
This remarkable true story, set in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery, is about William Kamkwamba’s dream to build a windmill. It is an inspiring read about human inventiveness, its power to overcome crippling adversity, and the power of one individual’s ability to change a community.
Non-Fiction What Color Is My World? by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Did you know that James West invented the microphone in your cell phone? That Fred Jones invented the refrigerated truck that makes supermarkets possible? Or that Dr. Percy Julian synthesized cortisone from soy, easing untold people’s pain? These are just some of the black inventors and innovators scoring big points in this dynamic look at several unsung heroes.
Poetry Soft Magic by Upile Chisala
From Malawian storyteller Upile Chisala comes a collection of poetry and prose exploring the self, joy, blackness, gender, matters of the heart, spirituality, the experience of Diaspora, and above all, how we survive.
Picture Book One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul
Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use, but what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred. Something had to change, and Isatou Cesay was that change. An inspirational true story that shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.
Author Visit & Book Signing with William Kamkwamba
October 30, 2019 at 7pm at the CSUB Icardo Center
California State University, Bakersfield
Barnes & Noble
Kern High School District
Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
Kern Literacy Council
Kegley Institute of Ethics
Norman Levan Center for the Humanities
Special Thanks to Taft College Foundation and The California Endowment.
Want to become a partner? Email Jasmin LoBasso.
History of the One Book Project
The program began in 2001 through the grassroots efforts of Jillian Fritch, an elementary school teacher who had read a story in the Los Angeles Times regarding One Book, One Community initiatives; at the time Seattle Reads and One Book Chicago were pioneers, and Los Angeles had decided to do a One Book project. Jillian was inspired to begin a project in Bakersfield. The first book was “To Kill a Mockingbird.” An array of community partners jumped on board, including education, nonprofits, local government, businesses, and media outlets. The Kern County Library became the lead organization in 2003. Now, the One Book Project continues to reach out to our diverse Kern County community both in book choice and related programming. In 2010, the One Book Project began a partnership with California State University, Bakersfield’s “Runner Reader Program” (or First-Year Experience Program), which involves students reading a common book. Through this partnership, the community has benefited extended programming, including author visits and talks at CSUB at the culmination of the read. In November 2011, more than 1,400 people turned out to hear author Wes Moore speak about his book, “The Other Wes Moore.” One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern remains a grassroots project that relies on community partners and donations to provide related programming and copies of the book throughout the county.