Vermont Humanities

Vermont Reads in Schools

Author Katherine Paterson with student
Vermont Reads

Since 2003, Vermont Humanities has invited students, adults, and seniors across the state to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to the book’s themes.

Learn more about Vermont Reads

Boy on We Contain Multitudes cover

Our Vermont Reads choice for 2021 is We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra. This novel in letters tells the paired stories of two very different teenage boys who are initially reluctant to participate in a pen-pal assignment from their high school English teacher, but ultimately grow well beyond the boundaries of the school project to reveal earth-shattering revelations about themselves and their families.

We’re constantly impressed by the creativity and dedication shown by middle and high school teachers who build curriculum around our Vermont Reads choices. Their projects have included cartooning lessons, author visits, creative writing seminars, protest marches, special luncheons, and even a trip to a local cemetery!

Librarians Carole Renca (left) and Amy Cudney gathered books about the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration to help Edmunds Middle School teachers lead Brown Girl Dreaming projects in 2017. A quilt inspired by Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir was raffled to help Edmunds purchase more library materials about diversity.

Librarians Carole Renca (left) and Amy Cudney gathered books about the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration to help edmunds Middle School teachers lead Brown Girl Dreaming projects

As part of two virtual Vermont Reads events held in 2020—including one for students across the state—former Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton asked Angie Thomas, the author of The Hate U Give, about the first book she could never put down. Her answer: “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor. “It was about a Black girl in Mississippi, and I was a Black girl in Mississippi,” Thomas said.

Vermont Humanities*** December 8, 2021