The Big Read was developed by The National Endowment for the Arts to "create a nation of readers." The idea is to inspire people to read good literature defined as follows:
"A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us."
The website provides free reader and teacher guides with language arts lessons and activities, radio programs, video profiles, and information about book authors. When you get to the site you'll see a brief introduction and some highlighted books and activities. Click on "Our Books" in the horizontal menu at the top of the page. A new page opens with a list of titles including:
•The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
•A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
•The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
•The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
•Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
•To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
•The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
•~ and many more!
Click on any title and a new page opens where you can access:
*Reader's Guide - Read a synopsis of the book, read the author's bio, discover the main characters, learn the historical context of the story, access discussion questions and more.
*Teacher's Guide - Get free lesson plans with printable handouts, review classroom project ideas that could be tweaked for a book club, get suggestions for essay topics, and find links to additional resources.
*Radio Show - The Big Read releases a new radio show about a selected book and author every 2 weeks. It's informative and entertaining. You can listen to the show online or subscribe to the podcast for free.