Seattle Reads, the “one book, one city” program started by The Seattle Public Library in 1998, will celebrate Native and Indigenous voices in October with virtual events including a discussion with Tommy Orange, author of the Seattle Reads 2020 pick “There There.” Seattle Reads was originally planned for May of 2020, but was rescheduled because of changes to Library programming due to COVID-19.

“Despite the changes to our plans, we are thrilled that we are able to discuss Orange’s incredible book and to highlight other Native and Indigenous writers and their work,” said Stesha Brandon, Literature & Humanities program manager for The Seattle Public Library.

Orange’s novel, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is the first Seattle Reads pick by an Indigenous author. Find program details below and at Indigenous People’s Day is Monday, Oct. 12, 2020.



  • 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 Seattle Reads presents Tommy Orange, author of “There There.” Orange will lead an online discussion of his book, the Seattle Reads selection for 2020, in conversation with Dr. Christina Roberts, the Director of the Indigenous Peoples Institute at Seattle University. Described in The New York Times as “an ambitious meditation on identity and its broken alternatives," Orange’s novel follows 12 characters from Native communities. Event registration is full, but the event will also be streamed live to the Library’s Facebook page.
  • 6 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7Kelli Jo Ford discusses "Crooked Hallelujah." Ford will discuss will discuss her acclaimed new novel, which tells the stories of Justine ― a mixed-blood Cherokee woman ― as she and her daughter move from Eastern Oklahoma to Texas in the hopes of starting a new life. Register online.
  • 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14An Evening With Khu.Eex'. Members of Khu.éex’, a funk/rock band founded by internationally known glass artist Preston Singletary, will share their music and some stories behind their most recent album Héen. The recording of Khu.éex’s newest album, “Héen” (“water” in the Tlingit language), coincided with critical events and issues affecting Indian Country, including the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline and the endangerment of clean water in our communities. Register online.
  • 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20Jill and Sasha La Pointe Discuss Vi Hilbert's "Haboo." The La Pointes will discuss the newly rereleased edition of Vi Hilbert’s “Haboo,” a collection of 33 stories and legends of the Lushootseed-speaking people of Puget Sound. The book is beautifully redesigned with a new foreword by Jill La Pointe, director of Lushootseed Research and granddaughter of Vi Hilbert. Register online.
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27A Virtual Event with Chenoa and Keith Egawa, “The Whale Child.” This brother-and-sister writing team share the story of Shiny, a whale child that becomes a boy to help humans understand the harm facing the world’s oceans. Written and illustrated by the Egawas, “The Whale Child” introduces children ages 7 to 12 to environmental issues with a message of hope, education, sharing and action. Register online.

In 1998, The Seattle Public Library launched Seattle Reads, a program to encourage Seattleites to read and discuss the same book. The program is now an annual event held in cities, states and countries around the world.

Seattle Reads is made possible by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, with support from media sponsor The Seattle Times and partner the Seattle City of Literature. For more information, visit or Ask Us.


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Visit the Library’s Road to Reopening page for more information on other Library services such as book returns. Find out how to schedule an appointment for a holds pickup at

You can find out more here or by contacting the Library by phone at 206-386-4636. Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information during this challenging time.