Scott County Big Read

October 19 – November 24, 2015


The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The Big Read is coming to Scott County! One book for all of Scott County to read, think about, and discuss as a community. Join the Scott County Historical Society and the Scott County Library System as we read Tim O’Brien’s classic Vietnam War book, The Things They Carried. Then take part in a variety of discussions and events that explore all aspects of the book. See below for more details.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Scott County Historical Society is one of 75 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2015 and June 2016. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

For more information, visit the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read site.

About The Things They Carried

 The Things They Carried Cover from THE THINGS
O’Brien (Boston: Mariner
Books, 2009). Used by
All rights reserved.

The Things They Carried is a collection of fictional short stories about the Alpha Company, a group of American men fighting in the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien, who is from nearby Austin, MN, based the book on his own experiences, but classifies these stories as fiction. In fact, the nature and meaning of storytelling is a central theme of The Things They Carried. The book was published in 1990 and since then, has received numerous awards and accolades. By reading The Things They Carried as a community, we can explore what the Vietnam War meant to our country, state, and county, and how it continues to shape who we are today.

Pick up a FREE Copy of the Book

You can pick up a copy of The Things They Carried at one of the following locations while supplies last.


Attend a FREE Big Read Event!

All events are free and open to the public.Hmong Dance (800x371)

  • Make a Thank You Card for a Veteran
    Craft supplies provided. Cards will be delivered to the Scott County Veterans Services Office the week of Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and distributed to local veterans.
    Day/Date: November 1 –  November 7, 2015
    Time: During museum and library open hours
    Location: The Scott County Historical Society and all Scott County Library branches

“Vietnam: A Window to War” will be on display at the Shakopee Library until December 17, 2015.

Attend a Big Read Discussion!

You may attend as many discussions as you like. All are FREE and open to the public.

  • October 19, 7:00pm – Belle Plaine Veteran’s Club
  • October 25, 2:00pm – Shakopee Library
  • October 27, 7:00pm – New Prague Library
  • October 27, 7:30pm – Prior Lake VFW (lower level)
  • October 28, 7:00pm – Elko New Market Library
  • October 28, 7:00pm – Jordan Library
  • November 5, 7:00pm – Scott County Historical Society
  • November 18, 6:30pm – Savage Library
  • November 18, 7:00pm – Badger Hill Brewery
  • November 24, 8:00pm – Prior Lake Library

Scott County Historical Society Logo

scott county library logo-1