February 27 – April 14, 2017

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for  pleasure and enlightenment.

In celebration of the 115th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s birth, the University of Central Florida and Seminole County Public Library will host a series of events around his classic novel The Grapes of WrathWinner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, John Steinbeck (1902-1968) wrote twenty-seven books that explore themes such as fate, poverty, and injustice. 

Activities, including book clubs, art exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, food drives, theatrical performances, and game jams will take place February 27-April 14, 2017. 

Schedule of Events

February 27 at University of Central Florida John Hitt C. LIbrary

Pick up a complimentary copy of The Grapes of the Wrath at the John C. Hitt Library and help Kick-off the Big Read

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February 27 at UCF Art Gallery

Celebrate John Steinbeck's 115th birthday at the opening reception of In the Eyes of the Hungry: Florida’s Changing Landscape

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February 28 at UCF Art Gallery

John Fauth, Associate Professor of Biology, talks about environmental issues on the Econ River

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March 1 at UCF Art Gallery

Dale Slongwhite discusses her book, Fed Up: The High Costs of Cheap Food

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March 2 at UCF Art Gallery

Lecture, book signing, and panel discussion of The Fruits of their Labor

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March 3 at UCF Art Gallery

Susan Shillinglaw, Director of the National Steinbeck Center, will discuss Steinbeck and the legacy of The Grapes of Wrath.

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March 31 at Orlando Museum of Art

Coco Fusco, whose work explores the relationship between women and society, war, politics, and race, will screen her latest film followed by Q+A.

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Apr 7 to Apr 14 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The Big Read at UCF is sponsoring several events as part of UCF Celebrates the Arts. See http://arts.cah.ucf.edu/ for a complete listing of events.

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Youth Programs

In the Farming Fun program, kids explore the science of farming, engage in hands-on activities, enjoy a puppet show and learn about the Dust Bowl. Free to K-5 students. Parents are welcome, but not required.


SCPL West Branch (Wekiva/Longwood)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 • 3 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


SPCL Northwest Branch (Lake Mary)

Thursday, March 9 • 4 p.m.
580 Green Way Boulevard, Lake Mary, FL 32746


SCPL North Branch (Sanford)

Monday, March 15, 2017 • 3:30 p.m.
150 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771


SCPL Central Branch (Casselberry)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 • 4 p.m.
215 North Oxford Road, Casselberry , FL 32707


SCPL East Branch (Oviedo)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 • 3 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779

Book Clubs

Seminole County Public Library book clubs will read The Grapes of Wrath beginning in February and host discussions on the following dates.


SPCL East Branch (Oviedo) Book Club

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 • 1 p.m.
310 Division Street, Oviedo, FL 32765


SCPL West Branch (Wekiva/Longwood) Book Club

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


SCPL Central Branch (Casselberry) Book Club

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
215 North Oxford Road, Casselberry , FL 32707


SCPL North Branch (Sanford) Book Club

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 • 6:30 p.m.
150 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771


SPCL Northwest Branch (Lake Mary) Book Club

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 • 12:30 p.m.
580 Green Way Boulevard, Lake Mary, FL 32746