Vermont Reads 2008

Last Updated 5/17/2011 3:55:43 PM

A Statewide, One-Book Community Reading Program

Vermont Reads 2008

A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost by Natalie Bober

“When I was young, I was so interested in baseball that my family was afraid I’d waste my life and be a pitcher. Later they were afraid I’d waste my life and be a poet. They were right.”
– Robert Frost











Explore the power of a richly told life story, the magic of poetry, and a New England world of yesteryear. This year’s Vermont Reads book is A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost, by award-winning biographer Natalie Bober. First published in 1981, this young-adult biography of one of America’s most celebrated poets retains all the charm and substance as only a classic can.

Winner of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, A Restless Spirit spans 1874 to 1963—the lifetime of Robert Frost, one of the most popular, celebrated, and studied poets in American literature. The book presents themes such as Robert Frost’s role in American life and letters, poetry, biography, the places he lived, farming, the natural world, traditional and non-traditional education, home-schooling, family, and following one’s dreams. The book is appropriate reading for lower middle-school grades on up.

Robert Frost — the name alone is iconic throughout the country, and indeed, the world. He won four Pulitzer Prizes. He wrote poems we learned as children and whose verses we know by heart. He recited a poem at President Kennedy’s inauguration. He influenced some of today’s most respected poets and taught thousands at places like Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English, Dartmouth, and elsewhere.

But how well, in fact, do we know Robert Frost? What was his childhood like? Why did he struggle in school? What sport did he love?

VHC’s informal Year of Frost concluded as the last of 56 communities participating in Vermont Reads 2008 held final activities. Libraries, schools, museums, and others held approximately 300 events statewide celebrating Frost’s life and work.

Author Natalie Bober appeared in Brattleboro, Middlebury, and Woodstock, and one of Frost’s granddaughters, Robin Hudnut, appeared with Bober at Middlebury’s Vermont Story Festival, a collaborative effort amongst VHC and several Middlebury heritage organizations. Other activities included hikes along the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail in Ripton, a memorial baseball game (Frost was a baseball lover), poetry readings, writing workshops, and discussions.

Vermont Public Radio aired a  Vermont Reads feature that included interviews and readings and discussions of Frost’s work by noted scholars.

Vermont Reads A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost Information Packet


2008 Vermont Reads Sponsors:


Media Partner

With support from the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation







Robert Frost  in New Hampshire, 1915. Courtesy Dartmouth College Library

Frost playing baseball

Bread Loaf Campus, Ripton, Vermont; August 1939. Courtesy Middlebury College Archives.








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