Through the One State / One Story: The Year We Left Home Community Read program, Hoosiers are invited to join in the statewide read of Jean Thompson’s novel as part of Indiana Humanities’ INseparable initiative.

<i>One State / One Story: The Year We Left Home</i> Community Read

A Community Read is a series of three or more programs that explore the themes and ideas of Jean Thompson’s The Year We Left Home, especially as they relate to Midwestern identity and urban/rural dynamics. Taking place at up to 30 locations throughout Indiana in 2020, at least one of the programs offered is a book discussion, because there’s nothing better than talking about great books with curious people. Other events might be speaker programs, community conversations, exhibits, hands-on activities and more. Whatever the program, we aim to inspire Hoosiers to think about the idea of home and talk about the past, present and future of our Hoosier communities.


The Year We Left Home follows the Erickson family through the many changes affecting American life at the end of the twentieth century. From city rooftops to country farms, college campuses to small-town main streets, the characters in Thompson’s novel search for fulfillment and happiness in an ever-changing, often alienating country. The story asks us to consider the enduring, uniting power of place—why we choose to leave and when we decide to come home. Read more about why we chose The Year We Left Home. 


If your organization is selected to host a Community Read, you receive the following resources to support your programs.

  • $750 grant 
  • Up to 50 copies of the book
  • Fun swag to build excitement about your Community Read
  • Program guide with discussion questions, short essays, and more
  • A recorded facilitation training that can help you or whoever is leading your book discussion create a meaningful conversation
  • A speakers bureau with talks about Midwestern literature, history and identity
  • Program logos and other downloadable promotional materials

Community Read hosts are Indiana not-for-profits and are required to host at least three programs, one of which must be a book discussion. Hosts must also attend an online training webinar, and submit all required reporting information to Indiana Humanities. Read the program guide to learn more about the requirements for host organizations.


To learn more about the One State / One Story: The Year We Left Home Community Read program, read through the program guide. This resource provides tips and ideas for your program series, discussion questions, supplementary information and more.


Curious about One State / One Story, but want to know more about what’s involved? View an informational webinar about what to expect when participating in a Community Read.


When you’re ready to apply, fill out the online application form. We recommend that you read the program guide and have fully developed program and partnership ideas before filling out the form. Applications are due Nov. 8, 2019


Contact Megan Telligman, program manager, | 317.616.9409