Author Archives: OBOC

2019 was another outstanding year for One Book One Community Waterloo Region, also known as “OBOC”. As the longest running community reading program in Canada, we are thrilled to see that our numbers continue to grow and enthusiasm never wains.

Although the official numbers aren’t yet in, we feel that approximately 1000 people attended the 4 events with our talented author, Joanna Goodman. Wonderful conversations and insightful questions about “The Home for Unwanted Girls” could be found at each event.

We want to thank Joanna for agreeing to be our 2019 OBOC author and for being so accommodating, gracious and fun, too. Thank you to Harper-Collins; always a pleasure to work with you.

Special thanks to the Waterloo Region Record who has been a major supporter of One Book One Community since day one. Thank you to the beautiful Walper Hotel in downtown Kitchener for their continued support and to Canada Council for the Arts.

The title for 2020 will be announced in April!

the_record_use in 2019

walper hotel 2017Canada Council logo_e_l

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Posted by on September 27, 2019 in Uncategorized


Joanna Goodman Visits Our Region This Week

Joanna_GoodmanJoanna Goodman, author of the One Book, One Community selection for 2019, The Home For Unwanted Girls, is visiting the Region of Waterloo from September 24 to 26.

Four (4) free author events, including book signings, have been scheduled:

Tuesday, September 24
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 1T1

Note: there is lots of free parking in Waterloo Public Library’s lot on Dupont Street, directly across from the church as well as parking at the church itself

Wednesday, September 25
1:15pm to 2:15pm
Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School, 1206 Snyder’s Road West, New Hamburg N3A 1A4
Note: this event is open to the general public, not just to students of Waterloo Oxford.

Wednesday, September 25
6:30pm doors open, 7:00pm program begins
Kitchener Public Library – Central Library, 85 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 2H1

Joanna Goodman in conversation with Irwin Elmin, former Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth and “Janus Korczak Statuette Award” recipient. Irwin has a Master of Education and Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) in political science from Carleton University.

Thursday, September 26
6:30pm doors open, 7:00pm program begins
Trillium United Church, 450 King Street East, Cambridge, ON N3H 3M9


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Posted by on September 24, 2019 in Uncategorized


Joanna on CTV-Kitchener

ctvJoanna Goodman was a guest on CTV-Kitchener’s News at Noon with Rosie del Campo. If you missed the interview, no worries. You can view it online now.

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Posted by on September 23, 2019 in Uncategorized


The Home for Unwanted Girls

At a special event at Trillium Lutheran & Elevation Church (on the site of Willow Hall, the former orphanage for Kitchener-Waterloo) in spring, the One Book, One Community committee announced that the 2019 selection is The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman.

coverThe Home for Unwanted Girls is set in 1950s Quebec, a time when the relationship between the French and the English was strained. This atmosphere was reflected in Maggie Hughes’ home where her English-speaking father, “The Seed Man”, had great ambitions for his daughter and those plans most certainly did not include her marrying the poor French farm boy who had captured her heart. When the teenage Maggie becomes pregnant, she is forced to give the baby up for adoption. The child, Elodie, is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. Elodie’s life and indeed her future will be in jeopardy when a new law providing more funding to psychiatric hospitals rather than orphanages sees thousands of orphans falsely declared as mentally ill. The Home for Unwanted Girls is a suspenseful, provocative novel set in a dark time in Quebec’s history. You will not be able to put it down.

Joanna Goodman, a rising literary star in Canada, is the author of five novels. The Home for Unwanted Girls was #8 on the Indigo Top 10 Bestselling Canadian Books of 2018 and spent 32 weeks on national bestseller lists. Originally from Montreal, she now lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids and is the CEO of Au Lit Fine Linens. Goodman is currently working on the sequel to The Home for Unwanted Girls. Joanna Goodman sent greetings to One Book One Community and the readers of Waterloo Region via video.

One Book, One Community, now in its 18th year, is the longest running community reading program in Canada. “OBOC”, as it is fondly referred to, celebrates the books and writing of Canadian authors.  Through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book, OBOC  has helped create a special sense of community in the Region.

“Our steering committee agreed that Joanna’s book focused on a period of Quebec history that is not readily discussed or even known about.” says Natalie Gibbons, Chair of One Book, One Community. “The story encompasses a very real part of Canadian history that needs to be discussed and is in fact very timely given current events in Canada. The Home for Unwanted Girls is a very readable and memorable novel that you will not soon forget after the last page is turned.”

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Posted by on April 24, 2019 in Uncategorized


Join our mailing list

email-envDon’t miss the latest One Book, One Community news!

Join our mailing list and receive occasional emails on programs, events and OBOC authors.

To subscribe to our mailing list simply contact One Book, One Community committee member, Sandi Hall, at

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Posted by on November 30, 2018 in Uncategorized