Molly Eichel: Access to e-book is all Hart

PAUL J. FROGGATT Will Smith was back home Saturday to give Sister Souljah some help promoting her new book, A Deeper Love Inside.
PAUL J. FROGGATT Will Smith was back home Saturday to give Sister Souljah some help promoting her new book, A Deeper Love Inside.
Posted: February 06, 2013

NORTH PHILLY-BORN and -raised comedian Kevin Hart is opening his wallet to give kids free e-book access to Lorene Carey's Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad.

Illustrations for the children's book, about the harrowing experiences of brave individuals who escaped the tyranny of slavery, were done by Please Touch Museum artist-in-residence, Beth Lewis.

The free e-book, made possible through Hart's generous donation, can be downloaded this month at An old-school copy of the book (y'know, one on paper that you have to pay for) can be found at

Hart, who is starring on BET's straight-up hilarious faux-reality show "Husbands of Beverly Hills," also starring comedian J.B. Smoove, Nick Cannon and Robin Thicke, is loud and proud about his Philly roots, often discussing his hometown in his stand-up.

"I'm well-rounded and street-smart because of it," Hart told the Daily News, while promoting his stand-up flick, "Let Me Explain." "I grew up in North Philly. It wasn't the greatest place, but it built character and made me who I am. I have no complaints."

Dance with Philly stars

The lineup for the fifth annual Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars is here. Cutting a rug this year to support the Sickle Cell Disease Association are Fox 29 traffic reporter Kacie McDonnell; Q102 DJ Maxwell; Philadelphia mag editor Carrie Denny; Food Trust executive director Yael Lehmann; National Constitution Center veep Alison Young; AFRICOM's prez and senior project leader at Independence Blue Cross, Dr. Vera Tolbert; fitness guru Dr. Marjorie Dejoie; Independence Visitors Center's Albert Lee; and Danielle Cohn, of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Last year's event raised more than $75,000 for awareness of sickle-cell disease, a genetic affliction affecting one out of every 500 African-Americans. Councilwoman Marian Tasco took home the gold at last year's event.

Changes at The Fanatic

The weekday schedule is switching it up at 97.5 The Fanatic. Jon Marks and Sean Brace will team up from noon to 2 p.m. Marks recently cohosted with Tony Bruno (10 a.m. to noon) and Brian Baldinger (noon to 2 p.m.). Baldinger will move to the 6 p.m. hour, along with Joe DeCamara. Bruno will stay at 10 a.m.

Mazel tov, Mike & Missy

Phillies pitcher Michael Schwimer tied the knot this weekend with the former Missy Flemming, a self-described bikini athlete, health-and-fitness advocate and artist. The couple got engaged at Season 52 and the reception was held at the PGA National Resort & Spa, in Palm Beach, Fla. Congrats, you crazy kids!


Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, the stars of romantic-thriller "Safe Haven," hit Philly last week, along with mega-selling author Nicholas Sparks, who wrote the book that was the basis of the film. Former "Dancing with the Stars" diva Hough and Duhamel (Mr. Fergie) hit up Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's "The Voice," a closed-circuit radio station and multimedia center founded by Hough's boy-toy, Ryan Seacrest. The couple also had drinks at Old City's Positano Coast before a screening of "Safe Haven."

Next day, Hough, Duhamel and Sparks chowed down on Pat's Steaks. Sparks, who earlier that day ran the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps like any good tourist (Duhamel and Hough slept too late to join in), is no stranger to the cheesesteak. Sparks spent a lot of time in the area; his roommate at Notre Dame hailed from South Jersey and invited him home for the holidays. "Safe Haven" hits theaters Feb. 14.

* Oscar - bald beacon of the Academy Awards - will visit Philly Wednesday. At lunchtime, visit O at the Italian Market Visitors Center (919 S. 9th St.) and follow @OscarRoadTrip on Twitter to see if he'll make it to the Liberty Bell or the museum steps later in the day.

Rock out

* The first two acts for the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival have been announced: The Lumineers and Philly's own Dr. Dog will headline the Susquehanna Bank Center on July 27. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at, the Live Nation box office, at the Susquehanna Bank Center and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

* Philly rapper Chill Moody's debut album, "RFM Deluxe Edition," hits iTunes today. "This album is our chance to get #PHILLY another point on that scoreboard," Moody wrote on his website,

* Want to listen to Philly band Pissed Jeans' fourth album, "Honeys," before its Feb. 12 release on Sub Pop records? It's now streaming on Check it at

On Twitter: @mollyeichel

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