One Book One Norristown, 9/24

Lorene Cary
3 min readSep 23, 2022

Saturday, 24 September 2022, launches One Book One Norristown featuring The Price of a Child. Thanks and praise for Director Monica D’Antonio, who has created so many carefully crafted elements to promote literacy, community, and conversation around this program and book! Thanks to the Norristown NAACP, and director Angelique Hinton and their leadership. When residents said they wanted more fun in their franchise, they came up with this program. Shazam! Thanks also to One Book One Philadelphia’s Program Director, Brittanie Sterner, for her generous consultation.

The Kick-off Event is from 10am-1pm, 9/24, at Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard Norristown, PA 19401

I’ll be there and looking to meet readers, everybody: the avid and the reluctant!

And, because we’re at Elmwood Zoo, it’s totally family friendly. One reads in the context of families, which is why OBON has also chosen my middle-school book, Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad, as one of the read-alongs for littles. (More on that, next blog!)

Just as we read as families, I write in the context of family. I remember rushing to finish The Price of a Child when I was pregnant and on bed-rest with our daughter Zoë. No laptop then, so my husband set me up with the big old desktop on a tray table next to the bed. I was desperate to get the book out/out/out of my mind and emotions and to my editor before the baby was born. And out of the house — it was the last book I submitted on paper. I felt as if I needed to protect her from it — the mercilessness of the slavery I’m researched and imagined for five years. But The Price of a Child had seeped through the blood; later it became part of her young life anyway. Big sister Laura was 13, and an old hand at mother-publications, but Zoë was just four when the paperback came out. She stared at the cover image and cocked her head and wondered: was that us? Her and me? Even when I said, no, not really, it pleased her to think so.

Family includes the older generations, too. Since Black Ice came out in 1991, my mother has loved sharing with me the extrovert requirements of the American writing life. Once, at a book signing, I looked up from a line of waiting people only to see Mom with her own circle — and she was signing books!

“No, Mommy, no,” I said. “You can’t sign my books.”

“I don’t see why not,” she said at first, before demurring. “They asked me, because I’m in it. They wanted to meet me!”

Our last out-together like this was at the 2021 Moore College of Art Visionary Woman Award, nearly a year ago. Since then Mom’s health has declined, so she will not be with me at Elmwood Zoo tomorrow. But I do hope readers will come and enjoy and tell me their reading-life stories, which I’ll take back to Mom later to savor.