Library kicks off One Book, One Northbrook with 'The Vanishing Half'

The "One Book, One Northbrook" community read kicks off in October with live music, book discussions, lectures, and more throughout the month. Northbrook Public Library invites the community to read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and then to take part in a series of programs presented by the library that explore the book's many themes.

The One Book, One Northbrook Kick-Off Event will take place outside the library's east entrance from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. Attendees are invited to enjoy live music from "The Sanctified Grumblers" and have the chance to win a signed copy of The Vanishing Half. Registration is not required for this outdoor drop-in event, which will be held rain or shine.

In addition, the library is thrilled to present a virtual conversation with the book's author, Brit Bennett, on Tuesday, October 19 at 7 p.m. Attendees can either register to watch at home via Zoom or to watch the livestream on the big screen in the Auditorium. Advance registration is required for all library programs unless noted otherwise.

To learn more about One Book, One Northbrook and see a full list of programs, visit or call the library at 847-272-6224.

Copies of The Vanishing Half are available to check out at the library. eBook and eAudiobook versions are also available with a library card. Attendees of the One Book, One Northbrook Kick-Off event on Saturday, October 2 will also have the chance to enter to win a free copy of the book. Copies may also be purchased at the Book Bin in Northbrook.

How the title was selected

The Vanishing Half was selected after reviewing over 70 titles suggested by staff, community members, and local teachers. After paring down the contenders, library staff discussed and rated the finalists with a group of teens and adults from the community.

Librarian Lori Siegel, a member of the One Book, One Northbrook Committee, was hooked by Bennett's masterful storytelling. "It's a riveting family story that offers a lot to discuss," she said.

About The Vanishing Half

This bestselling novel examines the themes of race and prejudice, telling the story of identical twins who choose to live very different lives. Weaving together multiple strands of a family from the 1950s to the 1990s, it explores honesty and truthfulness, and how identities can be shaped by both society and the stories that we tell ourselves.

About Author Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. She is one of the National Book Foundation's 2016 "5 Under 35" honorees.


The library thanks its sponsors for helping to provide books and programs to the community.

Pepper Construction, VISOgraphic, Library Furniture International (LFI), BankFinancial, Cook and Kocher Insurance Group, Inc., F.E. Moran Fire Protection of Northern Illinois, Fifth Third Bank, First Bank of Highland Park, Moore Landscapes, LLC, Northbrook Bank & Trust CO N.A., Product Architecture + Design, Selden Fox, LTD, Today's Business Solutions Inc.

About the library

The Northbrook Public Library nurtures community and stimulates lifelong learning through innovative, responsive programming, partnerships, resources, and services. We deliver excellent customer service to our patrons to create a welcoming, inclusive environment. To learn more about the library, visit

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