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'One Book Baltimore' Hands Out 12K Copies Of 'Long Way Down' For Second Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- "One Book Baltimore" kicked off its second year Tuesday at Enoch Pratt Central Library.

The program provides every Baltimore City 7th and 8th graders the same book to promote literacy and give them the opportunity to better connect with their family and community.

This year's book, "Long Way Down," follows a 15-year-old boy as he decided whether or not to revenge the death of his older brother.

"This book is meant to just humanize young people who are dealing with this kind of trauma," author Jason Reynolds said.

One of those young people is 8th grader Keyajahn Baxter, who lost her sister to gun violence.

"I feel more voices should be heard about gun violence and police brutality and all that," Baxter said.

That's what "One Book Baltimore" is designed to do.

"We're having community-wide conversations that are led by young people and their families, with their fellow neighbors, talking about the issues about peace and nonviolence," said John Brothers, with the T. Rowe Price Foundation, "The book (is) helping them do that."

Nearly 12,000 copies of "Long Way Down," will be given to Baltimore City students, free of charge. Throughout the fall and winter, local libraries will be hosting programs to help families tackle the issues discussed in this book.

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