For Great Michigan Read inquiries:

Katie Wittenauer
Director of Programs

kwittenauer “at”
or call 517-372-7770

Help Support Michigan Humanities

Great Michigan Read

One title, one state, and thousands engaged in literary discussion.

Michigan Humanities’ Great Michigan Read creates a statewide discussion around the humanities themes of a selected book. Through partnerships with libraries, schools, book clubs, and a wide range of other non-profit organizations, the Great Michigan Read facilitates statewide reading and programs to bridge communities around a common conversation.

The 2019-20 Great Michigan Read was announced on April 24 at the Flint Public Library. The new title – selected by six regional selection committees representing all corners of Michigan – is What the Eyes Don’t See, by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. The Great Michigan Read kicks off in September, 2019 and will conclude in fall 2020.

Join Michigan Humanities for the GMR Kick-Off event on Monday, September 16, 2019, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Flint Farmers’ Market. Following a welcome reception, the program will begin at 6 p.m. and feature a conversation with author Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Q&A, and book signing. All are welcome, and refreshments will be available. Visit this page for updates in the weeks ahead.


About the Book and Author

“Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water—and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. … At the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself—an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice.” – Penguin Random House, publisher of What the Eyes Don’t See.


Awards received by What the Eyes Don’t See include:

      • 2019 Finalist for Science & Technology, Los Angeles Times Book Prize
      • The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018
      • 2019 One Maryland One Book selection
      • 2019 Reading Across Rhode Island selection
      • 2019 Michigan Notable Book
      • 2018 Great Lakes Great Reads Adult Non-Fiction Award

Hanna-Attisha is the founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint. Currently an associate professor of pediatrics and human development at the MSU College of Human Medicine, she has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. She was one of the first to question if lead was leaching from the city’s water pipes after an emergency manager switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River in 2014.

“I’m so honored Michigan Humanities chose What the Eyes Don’t See for the 2019-2020 Great Michigan Read,” the Flint pediatrician said. “There is so much Michigan love in this story – from my first days in the state as a Yooper, to growing up in Metro Detroit, to my education and training in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, and Detroit, and most important, my work with kids in Flint.”

Great Michigan Read Partners

Schools, libraries, colleges, arts and cultural institutions, and other nonprofits are eligible to be Great Michigan Read partners and receive free books, readers’ guides, teachers’ guides, bookmarks, and other supplemental materials.

Partner registration details and an online form are available here. Registration is open now and will continue throughout 2019-20. Materials will be mailed to partners in late August, 2019. The first Great Michigan Read events will take place in September, 2019.

Action Grants

Action Grants of up to $750 are available to support Great Michigan Read programming and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocation of funds for the fiscal year is exhausted. The Action Grants application for Great Michigan Read programming is currently closed, but will open in August, 2019.

The 2019-20 Great Michigan Read is presented by Michigan Humanities and supported by national, statewide, and local partners, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Meijer Foundation.