What's the one book every Kentuckian must read in their lifetime?
You decide, students receive.

This is a project to identify the most powerful books - as voted by KY. The #1 title will go to 24 schools. And all participants are eligible to win a Kindle®.

Pick from the list or name your own!

Please select one book (listed in alphabetical order)


Feb 09
Mar 31


Visit our photo gallery to see the faces of Kentucky readers. Post your own with the hashtag #1bookky or send it to


How does this project work?

The project aims to open up our classrooms to our communities. Anyone with ties to KY can vote on a book they believe all Kentuckians must read. At the end of the campaign, we'll buy a set of the #1 title for 24 schools. The top 10 list on this site was assembled by schools and teachers in eastern KY.

How do I win a Kindle®?

You're automatically entered into a drawing by submitting your book. But you can multiply your odds of winning by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, or email via this site (each share adds your name again into the drawing). The winners – there will be two Kindles® – will be announced at the end.

Why literacy, why Kentucky?

Kentucky has a rich literary tradition, from Robert Penn Warren and Hunter S. Thompson to current writers like Silas House, Frank X. Walker, Wendell Berry, and Barbara Kingsolver. The next generation of great writers will come from great readers, and it starts with being exposed to the best that’s out there. We wanted to capture that by asking Kentuckians for their favorites. On top of that, teens who read are adults who succeed, with strong linkages between advanced literacy, health, and higher earnings.

How were the 24 schools chosen?

They are partner middle and high schools with Teach For America-Appalachia, a non-profit that recruits and trains teachers to work in schools throughout eastern Kentucky. Since 2011, we have placed 65 teachers and impacted over 10,000 students, partnering with communities to ensure that all children get a great education. Our parent organization, Teach For America, has been operating across the country since 1991.