Vermont Humanities

Vermont Reads

A Statewide Community Reading Program
Painting of two girls in 1950s San Francisco in a corner under a streetlamp
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. In 2021, we shifted this annual program to start each year on July 1.

Over 200 different Vermont towns, cities, and villages have participated in Vermont Reads to date. Schools, libraries, service organizations, churches, businesses, or other community-based organizations can start by filling out a brief application.

Teenaged boy in blue jacket with black hair with a large brown dog by a fire in the woods

Vermont Reads 2024: Gather

We invite Vermont communities to plan projects centered around “Gather” and its themes of rural life, resilience, class differences, addiction, housing and food insecurity, a deep relationship to the land, and the power of community.

Painting of two girls in 1950s San Francisco in a corner under a streetlamp

Vermont Reads 2023: Last Night at the Telegraph Club

We invite Vermont communities to plan projects centered around Last Night at The Telegraph Club and its themes of self-acceptance, familial and cultural ties, US/China relations, LGBTQ+ and Feminist history, McCarthyism and xenophobia, music of the 1940s and 1950s, and others.

Author Katherine Paterson with student

Vermont Reads Past Picks

A list of the books selected since 2003 for our state-wide community reading program.

Vermont Reads 2024


Ian is a resourceful teenager from rural Vermont. He isn’t supposed to have a dog, but his adopted pup Gather soon becomes a good friend. Although he hasn’t yet finished high school, Ian works hard to take care of his mother, who is trying to overcome her addiction to opioids.


Vermont Reads 2023

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Teenager Lily Hu is fully immersed in the life and culture of San Francisco’s Chinatown, home to Chinese immigrant families like hers. But as she comes of age in the 1950s, her passion for rockets and space exploration is matched by her curiosity about the Telegraph Club, located in a neighboring part of the city her parents have asked her to avoid.


Upcoming Vermont Reads Events

Live Event

Exhibit: “Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism”

This exhibit curated and produced by Museum of Chinese in America raises a collective voice against the rising tide of anti-Asian hate and violence, and features stories of Asian American resilience, generosity, creativity and agency.

Live Event

Vermont Reads: Make Paper Lanterns with Radiate Art Space

Richmond Free Library and Radiate Art Space are excited to offer a special craft featuring this year’s Vermont Reads book, Last Night at the Telegraph Club.
Join us to create your own paper lantern like Lily and her family would have lit at the Lantern Festival concluding their Lunar New Year celebration.

Black and white photo from Vermont Lesbian and Gay Pride march in 1983
Live Event

Stories from the Vermont Queer Archives

Objects such as banners, T-shirts, and buttons in the Vermont Queer Archives at the Pride Center of Vermont reflect currents and changes in the lives of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. Meg Tamulonis, volunteer curator of the Archives, discusses how these objects mark various milestones, from Pride events to legal rulings, and considers why some parts of the queer community aren’t well-represented in the Archives.

Silhouette pen-and-ink drawing of the historical lesbian couple Charity and Sylvia
Live Event

Comics and Queerness in Vermont and Beyond

Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Tillie Walden presents a look at the intersection of indie comics with queer identity through her many graphic novels—from science fiction to memoir to historical retelling. Explore process and power through visual narrative and learn why comics are relevant to Vermonters and beyond.

Live Event

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the book “Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era,” explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.

Vermont Reads Supporters

Vermont Reads 2024 is presented with support from The Trout Lily Foundation, the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation, and the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation.

Vermont Humanities*** November 16, 2014