The Big Read: Keep an Eye Out for ‘Read & Release’ Copies of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

Keep a look out forJohn Steinbeck’s classic book, “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Copies of the book will be popping up in Little Free Libraries, coffee shops, tap rooms and laundromats throughout the lower St. Croix Valley this month, courtesy of ArtReach St. Croix as part of this year’s The Big Read in the St. Croix ValleyGrapes Cover

If you come across the book, you are encouraged to read it and then pass the “Read & Release” copy along to another reader, leave it in a public place, return it to ArtReach, or even keep it.

The Big Read in the St. Croix Valley is a one- book, one-community program that brings together residents from throughout the St. Croix Valley around a common book.

This year’s programming will include a variety of literary, visual and performing arts opportunities centered on the themes found in “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Numerous copies of The Grapes of Wrath and book club kits can be found in circulation at local libraries throughout the St. Croix Valley. Anyone interested in purchasing their own copy of The Grapes of Wrath can receive a 15% discount at Valley Bookseller.

Each of the copies purchased by ArtReach is marked with a sticker explaining the “Read & Release” program, along with suggestions for releasing the copy back to into the public.

The books are being distributed in advance of The Big Read programs, which begin April 1 with a kick-off event featuring Charlie Maguire at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson.

Visit for dates and times of The Big Read events, which will be hosted throughout the lower St. Croix Valley.

ArtReach St. Croix announced in May 2015 that it was one of 75 organizations nationwide to receive a grant to host The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Theatre, music, visual arts, book discussion and other activities will take place in April 2016.