From the Mayor: One Book, One Chicago

Dear Friends:

As Mayor and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I encourage you to take part in Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago program and join all of Chicago in reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. The book is just the beginning!

From October through spring 2015, One Book, One Chicago will explore the book’s central theme—Heroes: Real & Imagined. Chicago Public Library and its community partners will offer multiple ways for Chicagoans to participate in this exciting initiative.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is storytelling at its best. Chabon transports readers into the exciting world of heroes and superheroes, all set amid the backdrop of the rise of fascism and leading to World War II, along with its consequences and aftermath. The creation of and rise in popularity of the comic book is detailed in dizzying fashion while the lives of the two protagonists, Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay, are played out emotionally and realistically. Readers are left asking themselves important and thoughtful questions: What would I do in that situation? Who are the real heroes?

To help readers answer these questions, One Book, One Chicago offers a variety of ways to explore these ideas, whether by reading the book and related recommendations, by attending a book discussion or one of the many supporting programs. Highlights include appearances by authors Michael Chabon and Jennifer Holland, a holiday jazz concert at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, programs celebrating military and political heroes, and programs designed for children and teens. In addition, the program will celebrate Chicago Heroes with a series of original essays, to be released on the Library’s website throughout the run of the program.

For more than a decade, Chicagoans from every neighborhood and of all ages have read and responded to some of the greatest literary works by participating in One Book, One Chicago discussions and programs all over the city. Readers have not only explored history, but also delved into significant and diverse themes, grappling with a range of thoughts and emotions as they journeyed with the characters in each One Book, One Chicago selection.

I encourage you to visit your library and check out a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, take part in a discussion or attend any number of related programs. To learn more, inquire at your local library or visit the Library’s One Book, One Chicago webpage at




Rahm Emanuel
City of Chicago