The Most Costly Journey
Stories of Migrant Farmworkers in Vermont
Vermont Reads is a multi-generational program, bringing people together throughout the state to celebrate literacy. The 2022/2023 selection is The Most Costly Journey (El viaje más caro), which tells the stories of 19 migrant workers in their own words in a graphic novel format.
Much of the work on Vermont dairy farms is done by people from Latin America. Over a thousand migrant laborers from Mexico and other countries milk cows, fix tractors, shovel manure, and take care of calves in our state. Illustrated by New England cartoonists in a variety of styles, each short chapter describes aspects of life as an immigrant farm worker in Vermont: crossing the southern border, struggling with English, adapting to winter, growing gardens, raising children, dealing with health crises, and working long hours.
We invite Barre residents to take part in Vermont Reads by picking up a free copy of The Most Costly Journey and reflect on its themes of migration, farming, mental health, cartooning, family, labor movements, and the Latinx experience, among others.
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.
Theme: Hardship, Challenge, Isolation, Adversity
Submissions are due by Friday, March 10, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Open to First Grade - Senior Citizen
Write a story, poem, essay, comic, or letter or create a piece of art based on the idea of challenge, hardship, isolation or resilience and how you or someone else or a group of people (real or fictional) dealt with this. For younger students: Write or create a piece of art about a time you or someone else (real or made up) had a hard time
Entries due to Karen Heath for Barre City or Barre Town Schools, Christine Smith at Spaulding High School, or Ian Gauthier at the Aldrich Library. For additional information (or art supplies), contact Karen Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ian Gauthier at the Aldrich Library at email@example.com
Awards and celebration, including winners’ readings and artwork display: Thursday, March 23rd at 5:00 PM in the Milne Community Room, (virtual option available - email AldrichTeens@gmail.com for more information).