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One Book One London

The One Book, One London committee is excited to announce our One Book One London initiative to encourage and celebrate reading one book together as a community. Our chosen book is...

etta and otto and russell and james book cover

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

About One Book, One London

The One Book One London initiative is here to encourage and celebrate reading one book together as a community. Plans are in the works for projects and programs related to themes in the book – walking, letter writing, the Canadian landscape, and possibly baking, papier mâché and coyotes. We are working with amazing community partners to offer exciting events and surprises throughout the city. Read the book. Share your thoughts. Be part of the experience.

About the Book

The book opens with Etta’s words to Otto:

“I’ve gone. I’ve never seen the water, so I’ve gone there.
I will try to remember to come back.”

Etta’s greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 2,000 miles to water in Halifax. The characters have a touching vulnerability and have a long and shared past that is memorable. It is a story about a journey, a personal quest, about memories, longing and unfulfilled desires. Much is told in letters and flashbacks and a wonderful usage of magical realism. It is about those who go and those who stay waiting and has a poignant ending that is left to the reader’s interpretation.

Borrow the Book

Etta and Otto and Russell and James is available in several formats, including:

An interactive walking challenge donated by Digital Echidna

Challenge yourself and your friends as you bring Etta's journey to life. Lace up your shoes and Walk One Book!

Western Libraries

Western Libraries has purchased 150 copies of Etta and Otto and Russell and James to distribute around campus. Western Libraries and FIMS will also jointly host events:


We are looking forward to working with community partners who have jumped on board with ideas and plans for exciting events and activities to get Londoners reading and talking about One Book One London.

Generously supported by London Public Library donors.