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    2016 Selection

     Pasadena’s 14th One City, One Story community reading celebration book selection is the novel  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. 

     Orphan Train 

    Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

    As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

    Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

    Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances and unexpected friendship.

    One City, One Story activities and events will be held in March 2016. A community dialogue with the author is scheduled for Thursday, March 31st.  


    About the Author

     Christina Baker Kline 

    (Image Credit: Karin Diana)

     Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Orphan Train. Her other novels include Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She is currently at work on a novel based on the iconic painting Christina's World, by Andrew Wyeth.

    Kline has also written and edited five nonfiction books, and she commissioned and edited two widely praised collections of original essays on the first year of parenthood and raising young children, Child of Mine and Room to Grow, and a book on grieving, Always Too Soon. She is the co-editor, with Anne Burt, of a collection of personal essays called About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror, and is co-author, with her mother, Christina Looper Baker, of a book on feminist mothers and daughters, The Conversation Begins. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More and Psychology Today, among other places.

    Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. She has taught fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, English literature, literary theory and women’s studies at Yale, NYU, and Drew University, and served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University for four years. She is a recipient of several Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowships and Writer-in-Residence Fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She supports a number of libraries and other associations in New Jersey and Maine, and is a member of the Advisory Board for Roots & Wings, a nonprofit that provides support for at-risk adolescent and aged-out foster care youth.
    Kline lives in an old house in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, David Kline, and three sons, Hayden, Will and Eli. She spends as much time as possible in an even older house in Southwest Harbor, Maine.


     Programs will be held throughout March culminating in a discussion with the author on Thursday evening, March 31, 2016. Event details will be announced in the near future.

    For more information, visit www.onecityonestory.com or call (626) 744-7076


    2016 FINALISTS

    • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    • Euphoria by Lily King  
    • Redeployment by Phil Klay
    • Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline
    • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


    2015 Selection Committee

    • Brian Biery – Director of Community Organizing, Flintridge Center
    • Sharon Calkin – Pasadena Public Library Commissioner
    • Rosemary Choate – President, Friends of the Caltech Libraries
    • Sally Kousser – Retired Reference Librarian, Community Volunteer
    • Christine Reeder – Adult Services Li brarian, Pasadena Public Library
    • Maggie Reyes-Rothner – English Teacher, Blair High School
    • Jan Sanders – Director of Libraries and Information Services, City of Pasadena
    • Mary Schuler – Community Volunteer
    • Jolly Urner – Founding Committee Member, Pasadena One City, One Story 
    • Larry Wilson – Public Editor, Pasadena Star-News 
    • Aquita Winslow-Tyler – Library Director, Polytechnic School 
  • One City, One Story Archive

    Pasadena Public Library has hosted the One City, One Story program since 2002. 

  • Contact Us / Nominate a Book

  • About One City, One Story

    Library homepage logoThe idea of getting a community together to discuss a single book actually arose in Seattle and quickly spread across the US, coming to Pasadena in 2002. Since beginning, the Pasadena Public Library has hosted ten titles and with each presentation the list of collaborating organizations, firms, volunteers, and businesses grows.

    The purpose of the series of discussions is just that: to discuss. We hope to begin a healthy, enlightening, interesting conversation among the people of Pasadena. The idea is not to agree, but to share thoughts and opinions. In sharing, we all learn.

    Usually in late summer, about 15 community readers begin coming together to suggest titles for the next spring’s selection.

    Criteria for selection include: 

    • The author should be living and able to come to Pasadena for a presentation
    • If possible, the book or author should have some tie to Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley, or southern California
    • The work should appeal to many members of society: women, men, teens, readers, non-readers, and so forth. The broader the appeal, the richer the discussion.
    • The book should inspire a conversation; it should start people thinking and encourage the sharing of ideas.
    • The book should have enough substance that it lends itself to a variety of programming possibilities.
    • The book should be available in paperback and several other formats such as an ebook, in Spanish, as a CD (audiobook), and in large type. 
    • The goal is to have the selection made public in November, giving ample time for Pasadena residents to give the title as a holiday gift.

    In March or April, the programs begin, with all sorts of cooperative sessions being offered. There are often book discussions throughout the community, in churches, stores, and libraries. Colleges and schools sponsor related events like panel discussions, art shows, concerts, or lectures. Everyone gets involved. In support, the Pasadena Public Library buys 200-300 copies of the book; usually the schools get another hundred or so, and Pasadena City College has many copies available for their students as well.

    The Pasadena Public Library is very pleased to continue to present this strong community effort. We believe it creates a colorful and varied conversation, whether folks are talking about the book at the grocery store, at a soccer practice, before a church service, or over the back fence. And that’s what it’s all about: One City, One Story, many ideas.

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