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History of Read Across Lawrence for Kids and Teens

RAL logo read across lawrence 400x250Read Across Lawrence uses literature as a springboard to launch community conversations about important issues of our times. Each year, we distribute 1,000 free copies of the selected book and invite cornerstone community institutions to host lectures, panels, discussion groups and film screenings throughout Lawrence.

This annual community-wide reading event encourages everyone in Lawrence to read and discuss the same book. Read Across Lawrence broadened its scope to include children (2012) and teens (2015) with books related thematically to the adult selection.

In 2017, in partnership with KU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and KU Libraries, ​we received a $14,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read in Lawrence. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Lawrence Public Library is one of 77 organizations to receive a grant to host a NEA Big Read project between September 2016 and June 2017. The NEA Big Read in Lawrence will focus on In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit The Big Read site.

RAL Adult selections with Teen and Children’s companion picks:

Big Read landing page 2017 In the time of the butterflies   Big Read landing page return to sender   Big Read landing page unusual chickens

Adult book: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Teen book: Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
Children’s book: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

Big Read landing page 2016 In the time of the butterflies   Big Read landing page these broken stars   Big Read landing page true meaning of smekday

Adult book: The Martian by Andy Weir
Teen book: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Children’s book: The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Big Read landing page 2015 Handmaid's Tale   Big Read landing page where things come back   Big Read landing page chasing vermeer

Adult book: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Teen book: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Children’s book: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

Big Read landing page 2013 worst hard time   Big Read landing page turtle in paradise

Adult book: Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Children’s book: Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Big Read landing page 2012 winter's bone   Big Read landing page cabinet of wonders

Adult book: Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Children’s book: Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkowski