Connecting neighbors over one great title

Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, a #1 New York Times best-seller and winner of the National Book Award, was the 2016 One Book, One Oak Park selection. Read more about the impact of this summer series in our community.

Why this title?

The selection explores a theme Oak Parkers have told us matters most to them, and to this community’s future. The title was chosen by a library team that consulted results from library staff and patron surveys asking for the top titles of 2015. Especially personal and compelling, Between the World and Me is a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son regarding the subject of race. Watch this video to learn more and get a flavor of this summer's One Book, One Oak Park title. More >

More about Between the World and Me

More specifically, the book is Coates’ attempt to share with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. It is beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, and while it clearly illuminates the past, it bracingly confronts our present and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. Individual copies are available in multiple formats, including print and digital editions. Log in to request your copy now.

NEW: Book discussion bags available for checkout

Want to talk about this title with your own group? Book discussion bags are available through the catalog. Each is loaded with 10 copies of the book, discussion questions, and more. When done, you can choose to keep the bag, and return only the books. Here are PDFs of what is inside each bag:

MORE: Reader resources

We've compiled the following list of resources to help keep conversations going even further. 

Coates' reading recommendations

More further reading

Literary works referenced by Coates in Between the World and Me

More questions and reading guides


Teaching tools

Videos about Coates



Articles about Coates

Articles by Coates


Race and identity

Accounts similar to Ta-Nehisi Coates on Twitter

  • Jamelle Bouie @jbouie
  • Melissa Harris-Perry @MHarrisPerry
  • deray mckesson @deray