Chicago Public Library Announces 2014-2015 One Book, One Chicago

Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon was joined today by NPR Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me host Peter Sagal, and program sponsors Allstate & BMO Harris, to announce the selection for the Library’s One Book, One Chicago 2014-2015 program to be The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.

Supported by the Chicago Public Library Foundation, One Book, One Chicago is an award-winning, nationally recognized city-wide reading initiative that brings diverse Chicagoans together around one central book and theme.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is storytelling at its best. Set amid the backdrop of the rise of fascism and years leading up to World War II, Chabon transports readers into the exciting world of comic books, heroes and superheroes. The creation and craze of the Golden Age of comics is central to the lives of the two protagonists, Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay as they arrive in New York City and embark on adventures fueled by their ambition. Readers are left wondering about their own personal transformations and what it means to be a hero. Celebrated author Michael Chabon will visit Chicago Public Library on October 9 at 6 p.m. for a conversation about his novel.

From this selection, the Library will focus programming around the subject of Heroes: Real & Imagined. Programs throughout the city will be presented in a season-long exploration beginning in October through spring 2015. Joining with many community partners, the Library will bring Chicagoans a variety of ways to engage with the book and the theme through events at neighborhood libraries and partner locations. People can take part in exhibits, book discussions, panel discussions, musical performances and story-telling. Kids and teens even get in on this year’s theme with special hero-themed offerings and Create-A-Comic at YOUmedia.  For program details, including times and locations, please visit the website at or pick up a program guide at any Library location.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay spans continents and eras. We are thrilled to have Michael Chabon’s novel as this year’s One Book, One Chicago pick,” said Brian Bannon, CPL Commissioner. “The theme of Heroes, both real and imagined, will be something every Chicagoan can relate to and has provided the opportunity for diverse and inspiring programs.”

A compelling addition to this year’s One Book, One Chicago is a collection of original essays by Chicago authors. Beginning in October and continuing through spring 2015, meet a new local hero as introduced by a local author. Chicago authors will reflect on heroes from the past, present or even imagined, in this series of short essays. Essays will be released online for free the first Friday of each month at, opens a new window.

The One Book, One Chicago program, which has been replicated in more than 150 cities across the country, is made possible by Allstate and BMO Harris, through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL recently received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and was ranked number one in the U.S. and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, visit or call the Chicago Public Library at (312) 747-4050.