Vote for the 2017-2018 Fitchburg Community Read

Posted to 02/24/2017  |  Back

The Community Read Committee is looking for your input on what we should read together next year as a campus and community. The Committee has narrowed down the suggestions that you provided to four equally interesting and stimulating books.  It is up to YOU to make the final decision for the 2017-18 Community Read book. Cast your vote for the next Community Read book at

The four book finalists are

Image of The Girls of Atomic City book coverThe Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

 "The true story of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a secret city founded during World War II to help create fuel for the atomic bomb. Oak Ridge didn’t appear on any maps, but thousands of workers moved there during the war, enticed by good wages and war-ending work. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but the workers – many of them young, single and female – were excited to be 'all in the same boat,' buoyed by a sense of shared purpose. But these hardworking young women also faced unexpected challenges.... Through it all, day in and day out, nobody knew what they were working on, only that they had been told it would help end the war. The secret wasn’t out until after the first atomic bomb, powered by uranium enriched in Oak Ridge’s massive factories, fell on Hiroshima, Japan. Today, Oak Ridge and the other Manhattan Project sites continue to carry the legacy of helping to make the first atomic bomb a reality."

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Image of The Good Lord Bird book coverThe Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

"Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.

An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival."

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Image of Radioactive book coverRadioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss

A Finalist for the National Book Award.

"Radioactive is the visual journey into the life of Marie Curie, as told through the dazzling collage style of acclaimed author and artist Lauren Redniss. A brilliant visual storyteller, Redniss has hand-designed more than 100 color collages to tell Curie’s story, fascinating in its scientific significance and its sometimes whimsical, sometimes haunting mix of romance and intrigue. Bringing together archival photos, images, and clippings with dazzling line drawings and a compelling narrative, Radioactive is far more than just an art book or a graphic novel: It is a stunning visual biography and a true work of art."

“Radioactive draws on Redniss's original reporting in Asia, Europe and the United States, her interviews with scientists, engineers, weapons specialists, atomic bomb survivors, and Marie and Pierre Curie's own granddaughter." 

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Image of Undocumented Book CoverUndocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta

"An undocumented immigrant’s journey from a New York City homeless shelter to the top of his Princeton class, ...where he made the momentous decision to come out as an undocumented student in a Wall Street Journal profile a few months before he gave the salutatorian’s traditional address in Latin at his commencement"

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