Vermont Reads 2018

Bread and Roses, Too

Vermont Reads 2018

Welcome to Vermont Reads: Bread and Roses, Too

The Vermont Humanities Council is pleased to announce that the Vermont Reads book for 2018 is Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson, a novel of historical fiction that tells the story of the 1912 “Bread and Roses” strike in the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile mills through the eyes of an Italian-American girl and a runaway boy.

Paterson is a world-renowned children’s author, Vermont resident, and frequent VHC presenter. The novel relates the journey of Rosa, who, along with Jake and other children, are sent temporarily out of harm’s way to foster families in Barre, Vermont, as children actually were during the strike.

The book will allow communities to explore many topics, including the immigrant experience in America, labor history, and local Vermont history. The book takes its name from the strikers’ banners in the story that proclaimed, “We want bread and roses, too.”

Vermonters and lovers of children’s literature are undoubtedly familiar with Katherine Paterson and her many highly-acclaimed works, including Bridge to Terabithia. She is the author of more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and young people. She has won the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award twice each. Her novel The Day of the Pelican, about an Albanian refugee family who moves to Barre, was also a Vermont Reads pick, in 2010.

VHC invites all Vermonters—students and adults alike — to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to its themes. A brief application from a community-based organization is all it takes to get started.

“The strikers carry big sign. It say: ‘We want bread and roses, too.’”

He beamed. “You understand? Not just bread — hungry, yes. But only bread is not enough. Need roses, too.”

Mr. Broggi

"Bread and Roses, Too"

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Vermont Reads Supporters

The Vermont Humanities Council is grateful to the underwriter of Vermont Reads 2018, Jan Blomstrann, and for the support of the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation. Vermont Public Radio is VHC’s media partner; each year VPR presents several days of Vermont Reads programming.

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