NEA Big Read at UCF • January 8 – February 4, 2018

NEA 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.

A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

This year, UCF is one of 75 participating communities. The NEA Big Read at UCF is presented in partnership with Seminole County Public Library.

We will celebrate The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, the debut novel of MacArthur Foundation Fellow Dinaw Mengestu. Events include an art exhibition and play, book clubs, lectures, artist talks, and book signing.

 Dinaw Mengestu

Read the Press Release

This January, UCF will celebrate The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears in collaboration with the Seminole Public Library. Woven throughout these events is the goal of revitalizing reading as a shared community initiative.

Illustration of Dinaw Mengestu

“After seventeen years here,
I am certain of at least one thing:
the liberal idea of America
is at its best in advertising.”

Sepha Stephanos in The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Upcoming Events

Youth Programs

Seminole County Public Library will have a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” themed program for each of its Library Explorers Clubs.

Kids will explore the themes of community, diversity, and being welcoming — whether someone has just moved to a new school, their family has moved to a new country, or maybe they’ve never thought about the wonderful mix of cultures and traditions present in their own community.

Library Explorers Clubs are free and open to all K-5th graders. Parents welcome, but not required. Children do not need to have attended previous clubs.

SCPL Central Branch (Casselberry)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 • 4:00–4:45 p.m.
215 North Oxford Road, Casselberry , FL 32707


SPCL Northwest Branch (Lake Mary)

Thursday, January 11, 2018 • 4:00–4:45 p.m.
580 Green Way Boulevard, Lake Mary, FL 32746


SCPL East Branch (Oviedo)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 • 3:00–3:45 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


SCPL North Branch (Sanford)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 • 3:30–4:15 p.m.
150 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771


SCPL West Branch (Wekiva/Longwood)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 • 3:00–3:45 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779

Book Clubs

Seminole County Public Library adult book clubs will read and discuss The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears. The clubs will host discussions that are open to the public.

SCPL Central Branch (Casselberry)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 • 6:30 p.m.
215 North Oxford Road, Casselberry , FL 32707


SCPL East Branch (Oviedo)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 • 6:30 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


SCPL West Branch (Wekiva/Longwood)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 • 6:30 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


SCPL East Branch (Oviedo)

Tuesday January 9, 2018 • 1:00 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


SCPL North Branch (Sanford)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 • 6:30 p.m.
150 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771


SCPL West Branch (Wekiva/Longwood)

Wednesday January 17, 2018 • 6:30 p.m.
245 N. Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


This non-fiction book club will discuss A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah as a complimentary title to The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.

SPCL Northwest Branch (Lake Mary)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 • 12:30 p.m.
580 Green Way Boulevard, Lake Mary, FL 32746