One Book, Many Communities 2024

The 2024 title for Librarians and Archivists with Palestine’s international reading campaign, “One Book, Many Communities,” is Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza by Mosab Abu Toha. Published in English in 2022, Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear won the 2022 Palestine Book Award, the 2023 American Book Award, Arrowsmith Press’s 2023 Derek Walcott Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.

Heart-wrenching and tender, Abu Toha paints a picture of life in Gaza from the perspective as a native Gazan, first as a child and later as a young father. The scenes of violence and destruction of living through four brutal military attacks are set against a landscape of humanity and joy as resistance of Palestine and its people. The reality of life in Gaza under siege emerges from the page like a flower blooming from rubble.

The cover of Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear by Mosab Abu Toha. The cover image shows a hole in a wall, though which greenery and buildings are visible.

This project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea, wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book. Librarians and Archivists with Palestine invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings to discuss Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza by Mosab Abu Toha. This campaign is designed to introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination.

Please join us! You can host a book discussion or poetry reading event in-person or digitally. COVID-19 is unfortunately still with us, so please consider incorporating high-quality masks, ventilation, or even an outdoor venue for in-person events. See our 2024 toolkit and resource guide for tips on hosting your event.

If you schedule your event for April or May 2024, you’ll be connected to readers across the globe who will be reading and discussing the book at the same time. April happens to be National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada so what better time to discuss a poetry collection? Use your imagination and let us know what you’re planning! This year we will be using an email address specifically for the One Book campaign, so reach us via onebookcampaign@gmail.com The hashtag for the campaign is: #lap1book.

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is a network of self-defined librarians, archivists, and information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

Content note: Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear includes content pertaining to war, death (including death of children), genocide, and occupation. Emotional responses to traumatic themes can vary and consider how engagement with the material in a safe and healthy way can vary person to person. Consider how the event can normalize making space for community care. 

Acquiring the book

Things You May Find Hidden In My Ear is available from many public and academic libraries. Copies can be purchased from the publisher, City Lights, as well as Bookshop.org, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble (including eBook), and other online book retailers.

Let us know if you have any questions about acquiring the book.

Previous One Book, Many Communities events:

Minor Detail by Adania Shibli (2021): A Palestinian woman is determined to know more about a young Bedouin girl raped and killed by Israeli soldiers in 1949.

The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem (2020): Set in modern-day Jaffa, the story follows a Palestinian citizen of Israel and his friend, a Jewish Israeli, when a mass disappearance unfolds.

Code Name: Butterfly by Ahlam Bsharat (2018): This coming-of-age novel portrays life under occupation from the perspective of a 14-year-old girl

“Returning to Haifa” by Ghassan Kanafani (2017): Tells the story of a couple that was forced to flee Haifa in 1948 and is returning for the first time in 20 years.

Sharon and My Mother-in-Law by Suad Amiry (2016): Written with humor and insight about the realities of life under occupation.

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa (2015): A sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family.