Groundbreaking, Multi-Platform Series to Launch on May 22 With Two-Hour Event; Culminates This Fall in the First-Ever National Vote to Choose “America’s Best-Loved Book”
WOUB's presentation of The Great American Read is sponsored locally by The Hocking Valley Bank.
The Little Professor Bookstore is a local independent book seller partner with WOUB and The Great American Read
WOUB is pleased to partner with the following libraries for The Great American Read. If one of these is your local library check out their website for activities connected with The Great American Read
PBS today unveiled a list of America’s 100 best-loved novels, chosen in support of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, a new PBS series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love. THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, launches with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 8 p.m. on PBS stations and will introduce viewers to the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels selected through a demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov. The series will also feature interviews with celebrities, authors, superfans and everyday Americans discussing the way particular books have influenced them and their significance in American popular culture. Then, after a multi-platform initiative throughout the summer, which will include live public events, social media components and national reading clubs, the series will resume in the fall with several themed episodes, including an exciting finale, culminating in the first-ever national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Novel.” It will be the most expansive national celebration of books and reading aimed at engaging multi-generational readers across multiple platforms ever created.
“There is perhaps no greater experience than discovering a novel that takes hold of you, works itself into your heart and your mind, changes the way you think or takes you into another world,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “With THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, we will leverage our combined broadcast and digital presence, along with the strong local connections of PBS member stations, to inspire a national conversation about beloved books and the power of reading.”
“The 100 novels selected have a special place in our hearts as they share our stories and celebrate the depth and range of our culture,” said Jane Root, CEO and founder of Nutopia. “I have no idea which book will come out on top, but I am so excited to join the journey and discover America’s most loved novel.”
Voting will open with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode on May 22 and continue throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale in October 2018. Over the summer, viewers will be able to vote at pbs.org/greatamericanread and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter using #GreatReadPBS. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their vote toll-free by phone and through SMS texting.
Authors, celebrities and notables joining the search for “America’s Best-Loved Novel” include Diana Gabaldon, George Lopez, Seth Meyers, Junot Diaz, Lauren Graham, John Green, John Irving, Bill T. Jones, Devon Kennard, Gayle King, George R.R. Martin, Wynton Marsalis, Lesley Stahl, Ming-Na Wen and many more, each of whom will share their personal stories and connections to their favorite book.
Whether it’s rediscovering an old favorite or engaging with a new title, THE GREAT AMERICAN READ program will encourage people to read as many novels as they can from the top 100 list, discuss them in virtual and community events organized by local public television stations, libraries and book reading clubs, and vote all summer for their favorites. The campaign will culminate in a list of America’s favorite works of fiction and ultimately, America’s number one novel.
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is supported by an extensive multi-platform digital and social media campaign designed to inspire Americans to read, vote and share their personal connections to titles on the top 100 list and beyond over the course of the summer. This includes an interactive website, links to local events, interactive video content, social share features and much more. As part of the experience, PBS Digital Studios will develop and produce unique programming across its award-winning YouTube Channels and an original miniseries on Facebook Watch. PBS Digital Studios hosts will collaborate with authors, booktubers and other creators to bring PBS’ legacy of championing literacy to Digital platforms. PBS Digital Studios’ Facebook Watch series is inspired by THE GREAT AMERICAN READ and features six video essays covering broad book-related topics in a highly shareable and engaging way.
In addition to the digital and social campaigns, THE GREAT AMERICAN READ has sparked nationwide community engagement efforts that will offer stations opportunities to create complementary content; stage community events; partner with libraries, booksellers, charitable organizations, schools, and other entities; and deepen the conversations and connections among people around the country. More than 100 stations are activating around the project, with stations such as Detroit Public Television, Nashville Public Television, WLIW in New York, WETA in Washington, DC, and WUCF in Orlando leading the charge. Detroit’s literary social media series, “PBS Books,” is broadening the reach of some of the nation’s biggest book festivals in support of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ. Nashville and WUCF are leveraging their already robust community partnerships and sharing best practices throughout the system. WLIW will utilize its content-sharing platform, Wavelength, to make customizable companion programs for THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, and WETA is partnering with PBS to amplify the excitement around THE GREAT AMERICAN READ. PBS will continue to work with its stations through the fall to develop resources that will encourage, promote, and support the local initiatives that are taking root across the United States.
Additionally, working with member stations and partners, PBS will develop resources and materials, including lesson plans and virtual book clubs, to encourage summer reading activities and extend the campaign into classrooms for the fall. To complement THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, over the summer PBS KIDS will also host PBS KIDS READ as part of an annual summer learning initiative for children ages 2-8 and their families, encouraging reading and related activities through a variety of resources for kids and parents.
The top 100 book list released today is based on a public opinion poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of PBS for THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, that asked respondents to name their favorite novel. An advisory panel of book industry professionals compiled the results. Each author was represented only once, and series such as the Alex Cross Mysteries were included as one entry.
The chosen books span five centuries, from Don Quixote (1603) to Ghost (2016). Authors from 15 different countries are represented, with genres ranging from beloved children’s classics such as Charlotte’s Web to modern best-sellers such as Twilight.
Below is the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels.
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, a new eight-part television competition and nationwide campaign created in partnership with the production company Nutopia, explores the power of books and the joy of reading through the lens of America’s 100 best-loved novels, as voted on by the public. Kerger revealed that PBS will also partner with top literary organizations and its nearly 350 member stations nationwide to extend the reach of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ to every community.
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ launches with a two-hour special event on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 8 p.m. on WOUB. Over the course of 15 weeks in the summer, viewers can read and vote on favorite works of fiction; the series then returns in the fall with additional episodes exploring the nominated books through themes including “Heroes,” “Villains & Monsters,” “Who Am I?,” “What We Do for Love,” “Other Worlds,” and will conclude with an exciting finale and countdown to “America’s Best-Loved Book.” The full list of 100 titles, chosen from a demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov, will be made available to the public in late April.
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is supported by an extensive multi-platform digital and social media campaign designed to inspire Americans to read, vote and share their personal connections to titles on the top 100 list and beyond over the course of the summer. Additionally, working with member stations and partners, PBS will develop resources and materials to extend the campaign and encourage summer reading activities.
“From exploring the nature of good and evil to discovering a world far away from our own, books have the power to transform, to inspire and to stay with you long after the final page has been turned,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “PBS is committed to being the home for engaging, educational and inspiring content, and we hope that THE GREAT AMERICAN READ encourages a multi-generational dialogue about literacy in America through this search to identify America’s best-loved novel.”
“America’s love affair with books is the perfect jumping off point for this innovative series celebrating the power of reading,” said Jane Root, Founder and CEO, Nutopia. “We are most excited to see how this series will inspire new conversations celebrating American diversity through a literary lens.”
Kicking off with a two-hour launch event, THE GREAT AMERICAN READ will journey across America to uncover illuminating details and new reflections, sometimes from unlikely sources, about some of the titles on the top 100 book list, revealing the story behind the story from multiple perspectives. To spark conversation about the books that have inspired, moved and shaped us, both individually and as a society, viewers will hear from a variety of sources about what the novels on the top 100 list can tell us about our diverse nation, our shared values, our cultural identities and the common themes that tie us together.
Over the course of the summer, THE GREAT AMERICAN READ will roll out an unprecedented campaign across PBS digital and social platforms, inviting viewers to share the works of fiction that have touched them most and to disclose their personal connections to the stories they love. After the premiere episode of the series, the audience will have an opportunity to dive deep and engage with PBS and fellow viewers in various ways:
• Voting will open with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode and continue throughout the summer, leading up to the Grand Finale in October 2018. Over the summer, viewers will be able to vote at pbs.org/greatamericanread and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Instagram using #GreatReadPBS. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their votes toll-free and by utilizing SMS voting. • An interactive website with detailed show information, links to local events, episode descriptions, interactive video content, social share features and much more will be available. • Photographs, short-form videos, animated graphics, live streams and behind-the-scenes footage will fuel social media integration of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ to encourage reading, conversation and voting.
To complement THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, PBS KIDS will host PBS KIDS READ as part of an annual summer learning initiative for children ages 2-8 and their families. PBS KIDS READ will encourage reading and related activities through a variety of resources for kids and parents, including social media engagement, digital games and tools, and downloadable activities. PBS member stations across the country will host literacy and learning events in local communities throughout the summer months.
PBS will partner with its nearly 350 local member stations in support of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ through grants designed to support active creation, distribution and promotion of the series, as well as through the formation and strengthening of local partnerships.
All of the novels on the top 100 list were chosen by the American public in a specially commissioned, demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov. An advisory panel, composed of 13 literary professionals, used their collective expertise to establish basic ground rules and minimally influence the final list to break ties and maximize the variety. Members of the advisory panel include: Lisa Lucas, Executive Director, National Book Foundation; Aaron Curtis, Bookseller, Quartermaster of Books&Books, Coral Cables, FL; Ron Charles, Book Editor, Washington Post; Kim Hubbard, Books Editor, People Magazine; Kevin Young, Director, Schomburg Center for Black Culture; Nancy Pearl, Librarian, Blogger and Author; Shanna Peeples, Educator, Coach, Advocate, 2015 Teacher of the Year; Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor, Publishers Weekly; Mary Rasenberger, Executive Director, Authors Guild, NY; Chandler Arnold, Chief Operating Officer, First Book; Rob Casper, Head of Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress; Kirk Whisler, Executive Director of Latino Literacy Now & National Latino Media Council Board Member; Gerald Maa, Editor-in-Chief, The Asian American Literary Review.