Vermont Reads 2021

“We Contain Multitudes”
by Sarah Henstra

Vermont Reads

A Statewide Community Reading Program

For the last 19 years, 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. Starting in 2021, we are shifting 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.

Vermont Reads 2020

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Mississippi writer Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, runs headlong into the challenges faced by young black kids in a world that doesn’t value their bodies or respect their voices. Yet it’s a universal story about a young girl making the choice to speak out. Starr’s struggle to find her voice will likely resonate deeply with any kid who is facing down violence in their home, their neighborhood or their country. Learn more about Vermont Reads 2020.

Image of Vermont Reads 2017 logo
Vermont Reads 2021 logo: white text on a light green background

Vermont Reads 2021

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra

Canadian author Sarah Henstra has written a beautiful, challenging novel styled in epistolary form that will resonate with readers in many ways. We Contain Multitudes is the story of two high school boys who discover friendship, and then love, through letters to each other. Through these letters, they reveal their complicated lives and families, transcending bullying, opiate addiction, PTSD, and domestic violence. The book presents a myriad of ways to communicate around tough issues in our lives while remaining hopeful and resilient. Learn more about Vermont Reads 2021.

From We Contain Multitudes

15 year old Jonathan says: “One of the more commonly-known quotes that adorns my walls is from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”: “Do I contradict myself? / Very well then, I contradict myself. / (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

Vermont Reads Wins Schwartz Prize

Vermont Humanities won one of two 2020 Schwartz Prizes for best public humanities programming in the U.S. for Vermont Reads 2019: March: Book One.

Vermont Reads Supporters

Vermont Humanities is  grateful to the underwriter of Vermont Reads 2021, Jan Blomstrann, and for the support of the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation.