Read Brave


What if we all read the same book at the same time? A book that discusses important topics like race and violence? Pick up How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon at your nearest library (or check out the e-book from OverDrive or from Cloud Library). And then meet the author!

Kekla will be in town February 25 and 26:

  • Wednesday, February 25, 8:30-10 a.m.
    Author Talk, Johnson High School
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2:30-4 p.m.
    Author Talk, Avalon School
  • Wednesday, February 25, 5:30-7 p.m.
    Author Talk, Wellstone Center
  • Thursday, February 26, 6:30-8 p.m.
    Panel discussion on supporting youth in our community
    Arlington Hills Community Center
    Panelists include Kekla Magoon; Steve Randall and Tim Simmons, Community Youth Workers; Marjorie Grevious, Penumbra Theater; Jason Sole, former gang member and current PhD candidate and adjunct professor; and Salim Omari and Mark Reding, SPPD. The panel will be facilitated by Theresa Neal, Como Park Senior High School Principal.

Teacher's guide available here.

When we read together—when a grandfather reads to a granddaughter, when a teacher reads to a classroom, when a parent reads to a child, when a sister reads to a brother, when everyone in a town reads the same book silently, together—we are taken out of our aloneness. Together, we see the world. Together, we see one another. We connect. And when we connect, we are changed. — Kate DiCamillo

This program is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

About Read Brave

Read Brave is Saint Paul Public Library’s annual, citywide program encouraging youth and adults to read and come together around a young adult novel. The program encourages intergenerational dialog about thought-provoking contemporary issues facing teens and culminates with a visit by the author to continue the discussion.

Library staff chooses the book in the fall and purchases as many copies of the book as possible to share with the community. When teens own the book, they take ownership of the reading, get the thrill of a personalized autograph, and are able to share the book with friends and family. Saint Paul Public Library distributes the books in early January, and the author events are in late February.

Read Brave featured the novel Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King in 2013, and Eleanor and Park in 2014. Read Brave has fostered partnerships and programs with Avalon School, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, the Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul Public Schools, adult and teen book clubs, Shakopee Women’s Prison, local booksellers, and Lady Gaga's Born Brave Bus tour. Avalon School received both state and national Promising Practices awards for their participation with the Saint Paul Public Library's Read Brave initiative.


In November of 2012, Brother Mike Hawkins visited the Saint Paul Public Library, and he connected our new 'one book' project to his new endeavor - Lady Gaga's Born Brave Bus tour. Our 'one book' project got the community talking about issues relevant to youth. Because of this, we named it Read Brave.

Read Brave 2015 is dedicated to Brother Mike Hawkins, Chicago-based poet, activist, digital media educator, and mentor who died December 3, 2014. Brother Mike changed the lives of hundreds of young people, directly and also by inspiring others to work for youth in their community. He was a mentor to youth, and also a mentor of mentors. He was 38. He is missed.

More info here.


Read Brave's bookshelf: read
Read Brave 28 members
Saint Paul, MN wants as many people to read a YA novel together and start a discussion. This yea...

Books we've read

Eleanor & Park Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Start date: December 1, 2013

Everybody Sees the Ants Everybody Sees the Ants
by A.S. King
Start date: December 1, 2012

View this group on Goodreads »