We Contain Multitudes

by Sarah Henstra


Vermont Reads is a multi-generational program, bringing people together throughout the state to celebrate literacy. The 2021/2022 selection is We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra, which is a novel in letters. It tells the paired stories of two very different teenage boys who are initially reluctant to participate in a pen-pal assignment from their high school English teacher, but ultimately grow well beyond the boundaries of the school project to reveal earth-shattering revelations about themselves and their families. 


The novel contains many strands relevant to current community conversations including economic disparities, how veterans return from war, domestic violence, opioid addiction, bullying, and coming out. But lest it sound too heavy, it is also a beautiful story of friendship, poetry, coming of age, and aspiring to move beyond social expectations.

Free copies are available at the Aldrich Library, Barre City Elementary & Middle School, Barre Town Elementary & Middle School, Spaulding High School, and the Barre Senior Center.


This year’s book selection is recommended for YA readers

Writing Contest

Submission window: Monday, January 17th to Friday, March 4th

Open to ages Kindergarten - Senior Citizen

Write a story, poem, essay, or letter based on the exploration and celebration of self. In addition to writing submissions, we will be accepting submissions for an art category of the contest! 

Click here to download the submission for the Writing Contest!

Entries due to Karen Fredericks for Barre City or Barre Town Schools, Sue Brennan or Christine Smith at Spaulding High School, or Ian Gauthier at the Aldrich Library. For additional information (or art supplies), contact the Aldrich Library at aldrichchildren@gmail.com or Karen Fredericks at kfredbsu@buusd.org.

Awards and celebration, including winners’ readings and artwork display: Thursday, March 24th, 5:30 PM in the Milne Community Room, (virtual option available - email AldrichTeens@gmail.com for more information).

Upcoming Events

Poetry Slam for Teens and Adults

Location: Aldrich Public Library

March 12, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. in the Milne Community Room

Virtual Presentation with Vermont Poets and Authors

More details coming soon