Academic Commons News

Discover True Biz: This Year's One Book, One Philadelphia 2024 Selection

Join us at Thomas Jefferson University Libraries as we celebrate the spirit of collective reading with this year’s One Book, One Philadelphia (OBOP) selection, True Biz by Sara Nović. This annual initiative by the Free Library of Philadelphia brings our city together through the collective experience of reading and discussing a single impactful book.

True Biz transports readers into the life of the River Valley School for the Deaf, capturing the heartfelt trials and triumphs of its community. Through characters like Charlie, Austin, and February, the novel explores themes of identity, resilience, and the power of communication. As the school faces the threat of closure, these characters' stories intertwine, offering readers deep emotional connections and insights into the Deaf community.

To dive into the world of True Biz, you can borrow a copy from our collection, borrow an ebook from the Free Library or listen to the audiobook from the Free Library. Through May 22nd, the Free Library of Philadelphia has a rich array of free events and workshops scheduled, both online and in person. These gatherings promise engaging discussions and deeper explorations of the themes within the book.

Delve deeper into Deaf culture with the Jefferson Libraries

Enhance your understanding of Deaf culture through additional resources available at our libraries:

Jefferson Student Spotlight: Natalie Perlov

  • Medical Student Aims to Increase Health Professionals' Understanding of Deaf Patients”: This Nexus article is an interview with Sidney Kimmel Medical College student Natalie Perlov who used her Scholarly Inquiry project to create Deaf Education and Awareness for Medical Students (DEAFMed), a lecture series aimed at increasing medical understanding of Deaf patients to improve their quality of care. Watch her reflections on the importance of this initiative and her experience through this video interview on the SKMC Alumni Bulletin. As a result of the initiative, DEAFMed is becoming a formal part of the curriculum as a humanities selection that preclinical medical students can take for supplemental course credit.

Engagement Beyond Reading

Consider joining the American Sign Language & Deaf Culture Association (ASLDCA) at Jefferson - Center City Campus, which offers a plethora of activities aimed at increasing cultural competence for the Deaf community. The ASLDCA welcomes all members of the Jefferson community of all signing levels to learn and participate in community events, workshops, and more. For more information, please email them at or contact the student organization advisor, Mary Muhlenhaupt, OTD, OTR/K, FAOTA at

Join us in celebrating and understanding diverse narratives through True Biz and the enriching programs offered by One Book, One Philadelphia. This is more than just reading a book; it’s about expanding perspectives, building community, and engaging in meaningful dialogue.