Read Brave Saint Paul


Read Brave Saint Paul is a new twist on the traditional city one-book program. Rather than a single book, the program revolves around a common theme relevant to our city. All readers — from our youngest children to our elders — are encouraged to engage in the program through reading, discussion, programming, and action. The 2020 Read Brave theme is “Our Climate Crisis.”

The current state of the environment affects all of us, from Saint Paul to countries across the globe. We have all played a part in how we got here, and we are all a part of the solution. Read Brave aims to unite residents around this topic — to seek understanding of the science, share stories about its impact, and work together toward solutions.

For 2020, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline is the primary pick, and Climate Justice by Mary Robinson is the nonfiction pick. Learn more about Read Brave Kids below.

2020 Launch: Live Updates

On November 20–21, 2019 we’re joining a global conversation: 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action and launching Read Brave: Our Climate Crisis. Across two days, we will present film screenings, discussions, and more with our partners at the Science Museum of Minnesota, the City of Saint Paul, Climate Generation, and Climate Reality.

Subscribe to e-news. Enter to win Read Brave books.

Sign up for the Read Brave email list and enter to win a full set of this year’s Read Brave books, including the kids’ books — an engaging set of books for the whole family! Two winners will be selected randomly. Sign up by November 29 (only new subscribers are eligible).


The Marrow Thieves, by Canadian Métis author, Cherie Dimaline, is this year’s primary book selection. A 2018 Canada Reads finalist, the young-adult novel imagines a dystopian future where global warming has ravaged the earth and, with it, most people’s ability to dream. Indigenous people, who can still dream, are hunted for their marrow to create a serum for others. The story follows Frenchie, a teenager on the run. After his brother is captured, Frenchie must create an ad hoc family and fight to preserve his people.

Watch a short introductory 'hello' from Cherie Dimaline to readers in Saint Paul.

Save the date! Dimaline will visit Saint Paul March 11-13, 2020.

Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, by Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, is this year’s nonfiction selection. Robinson gives voice to farmers, activists, and ordinary people worldwide who are facing the effects of the climate crisis with courage and innovation.  Her book acknowledges the hardship and uncertainty environmental degradation has had on traditional ways of life and celebrates the resilience of people who have worked for sustainable solutions.

Watch Mary Robinson's TED Talk on "Why Climate Change is a Threat to Human Rights."

Read the 2020 Read Brave books with Libby, the library's free, one-tap app for e-books! Watch a quick video tutorial to learn more about the app.

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We're excited to announce the 2020 Read Brave Kids book picks. Read Brave Kids empowers young readers and artists by engaging in fun reading activities that celebrate kids' choice, gaining a voice, and engaging in brave conversations with their communities.

Read Brave Kids 2020

Read Brave Kids (2020): Picture Books

The official 2020 picture book selections for Read Brave Kids.

Read Brave Kids (2020): Early Grade

The official 2020 early grade book selections for Read Brave Kids.

Read Brave Kids (2020): Middle Grade

The official 2020 middle-grade book selections for Read Brave Kids.


Read Brave is supported by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, the Katherine B. Andersen Fund, and the Saint Paul Saints.

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