Read Brave Saint Paul

Read Brave is Saint Paul's annual citywide book club hosted by Mayor Carter and Saint Paul Public Library. Read Brave taps into the power of books to bring residents together to read and talk bravely across generations about an issue critical to Saint Paul and its future.

Read Brave 2024's theme was Celebrating Identities.

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2024 Read Brave by the Numbers


4,500 copies of the 2024 Read Brave title Man o' War by Cory McCarthy were distributed to students and community members to add to their personal libraries.


Over 150 high school students participated in in-person author events with Cory McCarthy, author of Man o' War.


90 community members participated across three Read Brave community programs including the Read Brave Talk Brave panel discussion with a live performance from Mikko Blaze and an art exhibit in partnership with In Progress and Transforming Generations, Read Brave Community Volunteer Event in partnership with Face to Face, and Read Brave Storytime with Mayor Carter.


New in 2024, book clubs interested in participating in Read Brave were invited to pick up a Book Club Kit from their Library.  Over 15 Book Club Kits were distributed to community members complete with books for each book club member, printed discussion questions, book marks, swag, and a Read Brave tote bag.

Community Feedback

"I loved that is has a trans story and that romance was a subplot instead of the main focus. I identified a lot with the book."

-- Student Read Brave participant

"I hadn't read any books before from a trans person's perspective, and figured I probably should. Not only did this book really expose me to an example of that, but it's also a really good book in general."

-- Community Read Brave participant

"What a wonderful event Read Brave: Talk Brave was tonight! The joyful, supportive energy in the room was amazing, and everyone who spoke was so open and thoughtful."

-- Read Brave Talk Brave event attendee

Read Brave 2024's Book Title: "Man o' War" by Cory McCarthy

This year’s Read Brave book pick is the young adult novel Man o’ War by Cory McCarthy. A Stonewall Honor Book, Man o' War is a candid and emotional coming-of-age story that follows the journey of an Irish Lebanese American trans teen navigating the challenges and joys of self-discovery and love amid the confines of a small, midwestern town. Educators and parents should know that this book is best for older teens through adults.  

"Man o' War" Read Alikes

If You Liked: Man O' War

Focusing on teens and young adults exploring and coming to understand their identities and the rich complexities of intersectionality.

Read Brave Saint Paul is brought to you by the Saint Paul Public Library, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, and the City of Saint Paul.

This program is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with special support from a Saint Paul Public School’s Community Partnership ARP Grant.

Questions about Read Brave?

Get in touch with the Read Brave Team using the form below with any questions you have about Read Brave books, events, or partnerships.

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