Michigan Humanities Council   Celebrating Michigan Rich Cultural Heritage

Great Michigan Read Register your organization here for the Great Michigan Read
Open to all nonprofits and for-profits!

Great Michigan Read

The Great Michigan Read is a biennial program of the Michigan Humanities Council in which we partner with schools, libraries, museums, religious organizations and other organizations in Michigan for a statewide reading discussion. Each program focuses on a new title – written by a Michigan author or based in Michigan, selected by a statewide committee and approved by the MHC Board of Directors.

This reading initiative aims to connect us as Michiganians by exploring our history, our present and our future as discussed in a single literary title. The program is intended for young adults to senior citizens with a broad goal of making literature more accessible and appealing while also encouraging residents to learn more about our state and individual identities.

For each program, the MHC provides nonprofit organizations the materials necessary to build community discussions. Bookmarks, reader’s guides and teachers guides are available, and eligible organizations may also apply to receive free copies of the book.

2013-14 Great Michigan Read: Annie's Ghosts

Annie's GhostAfter careful selection by a statewide selection committee, the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read title has been chosen. Please join the Michigan Humanities Council and nonprofit organizations around the state in reading Annie's Ghosts, a 2010 Michigan Notable Book written by Washington Post Associate Editor and Detroit native Steve Luxenberg.

Annie's Ghosts is part memoir, part detective story, and part history. As the author tries to understand his mom's reasons for hiding her sister's existence, he takes readers on a journey into his mother's world of the 1930s and '40s, where he explores how a poor, immigrant family manages life with a child who has special needs.

Annie's Ghosts is a story about family secrets, personal journeys, genealogy, mental disability and illness, poverty, and immigration. It is a story of re-framing one's self-understanding once a family secret is revealed, providing insight into how our identities are shaped by learning something shockingly new about our family history.

View a Current Listing of Community Partners

Timeline of Program
Official partner registration is now open! Register here.
Supplemental materials and book-kits will be distributed late summer.

Non-profit, for-profit, and governmental organizations are all eligible to be partners.  Only non-profit and governmental organizations, however, are eligible to receive free books. 

Benefits of partnership:

  1. Materials:  Bookmarks, reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, and posters are distributed to all partners.
  2. Publicity:  Michigan Humanities Council will publicize the events your organizations schedules related to Annie’s Ghosts.
  3. Books:  Non-profit and governmental organizations may request up to 30 copies of Annie’s Ghosts.  Preference will be given to organizations that have a plan for circulating the books to multiple readers. 

Responsibilities of Partnership:

  • Events:  Submit dates and locations for all of your Great Michigan Read programs using the online event submission form.
  • Evaluation:  Administer one-page participant evaluation forms and complete a program coordinator evaluation form.
  • Credit and logos:  All events utilizing partner resources for Annie’s Ghosts (e.g., bookmarks, reader’s guides, free books, etc.) must be identified as Great Michigan Read programs and utilize the following credit:  The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities (additional sponsors may be added to the credit line as fundraising is ongoing).  The Michigan Humanities Council and Great Michigan Read logos should be used when possible.

Author's Tour Schedule

These are events featuring Steve Luxenberg, author of Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret. The format of the events vary. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Those marked with an asterisk (*) denote that a fee is associated with the event. Contact Carla Ingrando, (517)372-7770 or cingrando@mihumanities.org, for more information.

Tuesday, September 24 @ 9:30 a.m.
Jane Tasch Performing Art Theatre - hosted by Pinckney Community Schools
2130 Route 36

Tuesday, September 24 @ 7 p.m.
Michigan Historical Center
717 W. Allegan St.

East Lansing
Wednesday, September 25
Michigan State University
More details TBD

Monday, September 30 @ 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Portage District Library - a joint event with Kazoo Books
300 Library Lane

Boyne City
Wednesday, November 13 @ 7 p.m.
Boyne District Library - a Boyne Reads 2013 Event
201 E. Main St.

Sault Ste. Marie
Thursday, November 14 @ 7 p.m.
Bayliss Public Library
541 Library Drive

Tuesday, January 28 @ 9 a.m.
Swan Valley High School
8400 Ohern Road

Tuesday, January 28 @ noon
Castle Museum - a joint event with the Public Libraries of Saginaw
500 Federal Avenue

Tuesday, January 28 @ 7 p.m.
Grace A. Dow Memorial Library
1710 St. Andrews St.

Mount Pleasant

*Traverse City
Tuesday, April 8 @ 7 p.m.
City Opera House - a joint event with the National Writers Series
106 E. Front St.

*Metro Detroit - exact location TBD
Tuesday, May 20 @ 6 p.m.
Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit

*West Bloomfield
Wednesday, May 21 @ 11:30 a.m.
Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit
6555 West Maple

Farmington Hills
Wednesday, May 21 @ 7 p.m.
Holocaust Memorial Center
28123 Orchard Lake Rd.

Thursday, May 22
Westland Public Library
6123 Central City Parkway

Thursday, May 22 @ 7 p.m.
The Rust Belt Market
22801 Woodward Avenue

Previous Great Michigan Read Titles

The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway (2007-08)

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner: A Memoir by Bich Minh Nguyen (2009-10)

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle (2011-12)

2011-12 Program Materials

Reader’s Guide

Teacher’s Guide

Highlights Video

Subscribe to E-news Donate to the MHC Apply for a Grant

Made Possible with Financial Support From

Michigan Humanities Council

National Endowment for the Humanities


Best-Selling Author ($10,000)


Biographer ($2,500)


The Jury Foundation

Novelist ($1,000)

CBI Rehabilitation Services, Inc.
Community Mental Health
     Authority of Clinton, Eaton,
     Ingham Counties
Community Mental Health for
     Central Michigan
Community Mental Health of
     Muskegon County
Huron Behavioral Health
Ionia County Community
     Mental Health
Lapeer County Community
     Mental Health
MASCO Corporation Foundation
Mental Health Association of
Michigan State University
     Federal Credit Union
North Country Community
     Mental Health
Oakland County Community
     Mental Health Authority
Pathways Community Mental Health
Public Policy Associates
Rick & Raj Wiener
Saginaw County Community
     Mental Health Authority
St. Clair County Community
     Mental Health Authority

Thanks to our Media Sponsors

WJRW 1340 AM
Image Creative Group
Michigan Radio



Library of Michigan

Michigan Library Association

Thornapple Arts Council of
     Barry County



Michigan Humanities Council

119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 3B, Lansing, MI 48912

p: 517-372-7770 · f: 517-372-0027


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