Read Across Lawrence

2019 Books

Lawrence Public Library is thrilled to announce the 2019 Read Across Lawrence book selections along with literacy partner Capitol Federal Foundationopens a new window, Lawrence Public Library Foundationopens a new window and Friendsopens a new window, KU Librariesopens a new window and Lawrence Public Schools USD 497opens a new window.

TEENS | The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz
ADULTSSourdough by Robin Sloan
KIDS | A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

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Programs and Events



Literature is the tie that binds. Once a year, Lawrence comes together as a community to read the same book and explore its major themes with discussions and interactive programs. Read Across Lawrence is a meaningful (and really fun!) way to get to know your neighbors through a mutual love of reading.

Read Across Lawrence (RAL) uses literature as a springboard to launch community conversations about important, timely issues. Each year, we distribute 1,000 free copies of the selected book and invite cornerstone community institutions to host discussions and film screenings for thousands of Lawrencians of all ages and backgrounds throughout our city.

The positive effects of Read Across Lawrence are widely felt. RAL promotes literacy, fosters community, and provides common ground for intergenerational, cross-cultural, and civic-minded educational discussions. It's also, to put it simply, a really fun and social way to get the most out of a book. Let's read together!


2019 marks the 15th consecutive year our library offers the Read Across Lawrence program.

    • In 2012, Read Across Lawrence broadened its audience beyond adults to include two additional thematically-related titles, one especially for kids and one  appealing to teen readers.
    • In 2017, we received a $14,000 grant to host the NEA Big Read in Lawrence in partnership with KU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and KU Libraries. 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 was one of 77 organizations to receive a grant to host a NEA Big Read project between September 2016 and June 2017. The 2017 NEA Big Read in Lawrence focused on In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.
  • Previous Read Across Lawrence Selections include:

2018 | Wonder by R.J. Palacio
2017 | In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
2016 |The Martian by Andy Weir
2015 | The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
2014 | Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
2013 | The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
2012 | Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
2011 | To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2010 | Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama | Kansas Reads
2009 | The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard | Kansas Reads
2008 | Kansas Curiosities by Pam Grout
2007 | Revolutionary Heart by Diane Eickhoff
2006 | The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
2005 | Blue Horses Rush in by Luci Tapahanso