Vermont Reads 2011 Program Features Community Discussions on "To Kill a Mockingbird"

February 26, 2011

This spring, Southern Vermont College, Bennington College and John G. McCullough Free Library will host several events as part of the 2011 Vermont Reads Program sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. This year’s Vermont Reads book pick is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is about a lawyer who defends a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of the lawyer’s children, the author explores the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the deep South of the 1930s. 

Leading with the first event, Southern Vermont College Sociology Professor Joan Sakalas will lead a discussion on “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ Through 21st Century Eyes – a Community Discussion.” This session will consist of selected readings from “To Kill a Mockingbird” followed by group discussions surrounding selected questions and ending with thoughts and findings. This event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Everett Mansion’s Burgdorff Gallery. In addition, the book pick will also be the featured reading at the Southern Vermont College book club meeting on Wednesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in the College library, where a display will be available for viewing. For more information, contact Andrea Robare at 802-447-6311 or e-mail

The John G. McCullough Free Library will host a book club meeting at their site on Fridays, March 25 and April 8, at 11:30 a.m. Those interested in attending this event may contact Susanne Warren at 802-447-7121.

Bennington College will host a discussion on Civil Rights with lawyer Stephen Saltonstall of Manchester. This event will take place (location TBD) Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m.
For more information on this event, contact Oceana Wilson at 802-440-4606.

The Vermont Reads Program, which launched in 2003, is a method of bringing communities and individuals of diverse ages, abilities and experiences together to read and discuss a book of high quality and acclaim. It’s another method of promoting community building, open dialogue, intergenerational exchange, a focus on the humanities and literacy.

The public is invited to all the above events, which are free. For more information on the Vermont Humanities Council, go to