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King Peggy

One Maryland One Book reading program shares one woman’s journey from secretary to king of an African village

Created date

December 23rd, 2013
Four women

Here’s a riddle for you: What does a secretary from Washington, D.C., and an African king have in common?

The answer lies in the book King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village

The book tells the story of Peggielene Bartels, a secretary for the Ghana Embassy in Washington, D.C., who suddenly finds herself appointed king of a 7,000-person fishing village on Africa’s west coast. 

The Maryland Humanities Council also selected the book for this year’s One Maryland, One Book reading program.

Togetherness through literature

The One Maryland One Book program aims to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. Readers may then participate in book-centered discussions and other associated programs at public libraries, high schools, colleges and universities, museums, bookstores, and community and senior centers.

This past November, one such discussion took place at



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