ReadDavidson is a town-wide initiative organized by a group of avid readers, Main Street Books, the Davidson Public Library, and the Town of Davidson. Since 2007, books have been chosen annually, and book-related events have been planned to make each book come to life. Each year, Davidson residents are invited to participate in programs and events.


For 2023, ReadDavidson is excited to announce that it is joining forces to support and enhance the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s (CML) Community Read initiative. This partnership will encourage the Davidson community to read (or listen to) the book, talk about it, attend library programs, and celebrate the love of reading.

2023 Read DavidsonCommunity Read  BANNER

How to participate

READ (and support your local bookstore and library branch at the same time!)
Main Street Books is offering a 10% discount on all of the 2023 ReadDavidson/Community Read titles.

ATTEND one (or all) of the following events:

Monday, March 13, 2023, 7:00-8:00 p.m. - The People We Keep "Psychology of Friendship" with speaker Dr. Catherine Bagwell. 

  • Location: Hance Auditorium in the Davidson College Chambers Building
  • Registration is FULL for this event, but if you'd like to join the wait list, then REGISTER HERE
  • Psychologist and Davidson College professor of Psychology, Dr. Catherine Bagwell will enrich our community's reading of The People We Keep, the signature 2023 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Community Read book. Dr. Bagwell will discuss the fundamentals of friendship and how to better understand the friendship struggles and successes in the The People We Keep by Allison Larkina story about 16 year-old April who is effectively abandoned by her widowed father and chooses to strike out independently as a singer-songwriter, making her own version of family from the friendships she forges along the way. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.- The Edge of Anything Journaling Your Way to Calm

  • Davidson Public Library
  • Free with registration: REGISTER HERE(beginning February 1)
  • Appropriate for preteens (9-12) and teens (12-18)

Friday, March 17, 2023, following Davidson K8 dismissal at 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Front Desk Books Start Art

  • Davidson town green
  • Drop-in friendship bracelet making activity with community partners Main Street Books, Davidson Police Department, and Davidson College

Saturday, March 18, 2023, 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Springtime Storytime presents The Big Umbrella

  • Davidson Public Library- outdoors on the patio
  • Free with registration; REGISTER HERE
  • Community Engagement Officer Mike Prather, in partnership with Jamie Hofmeister-Cline from Music Together of Charlotte.
  • Suitable for preschool (3-5) and toddler (2-3) aged children and their families.

The Davidson Public Library is also highlighting the following events-

Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Author talk with Allison Larkin (The People We Keep)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Story Explores: Make Your Own Money 

  • Davidson Library Community Room
  • Free with registration: REGISTER HERE (spaces are limited) 
  • Appropriate for preteens (9-11) and school age children (5-11)

For all 2023 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Community Read events, please see:

Book Synopsesthe people we keep cover

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
Little River, New York, 1994: April Sawicki is living in a motorless motorhome that her father won in a poker game. Failing out of school, picking up shifts at a local diner, she’s left fending for herself in a town where she’s never quite felt at home. When she “borrows” her neighbor’s car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life could be much bigger than where she came from. After a fight with her dad, April packs her stuff and leaves for good, setting off on a journey to find a life that’s all hers.
Driving without a chosen destination, she stops to rest in Ithaca. Her only plan is to survive, but as she looks for work, she finds a kindred sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Still, somehow, it doesn’t make sense to her that life could be this easy. The more she falls in love with her friends in Ithaca, the more she can’t shake the feeling that she’ll hurt them the way she’s been hurt. As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be.
the edge of anything cover

The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter
Len is a loner teen photographer haunted by a past that's stagnated her work and left her terrified she's losing her mind. Sage is a high school volleyball star desperate to find a way around her sudden medical disqualification. Both girls need college scholarships. After a chance encounter, the two develop an unlikely friendship that enables them to begin facing their inner demons.

But both Len and Sage are keeping secrets that, left hidden, could cost them everything, maybe even their lives.

Set in the North Carolina mountains, this dynamic #ownvoices novel explores grief, mental health, and the transformative power of friendship.

Front Desk by Kelly Yangfront desk cover
Winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewMia Tang has a lot of secrets.Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?Featuring exclusive bonus content!

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Batesthe big umbrella cover
By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.

Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.

Lush illustrations and simple, lyrical text subtly address themes of inclusion and tolerance in this sweet story that accomplished illustrator Amy June Bates cowrote with her daughter, Juniper, while walking to school together in the rain.

ReadDavidson Playlist

Check out recordings of past events here.


The ReadDavidson initiative would not be possible without the support of the following sponsors:

  • Main Street Books
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
  • Davidson Public Library

Prior ReadDavidson selections

2023: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin; The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter; Front Desk by Kelly Yang; The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

2022: Infinite Country by Patricia Engel; What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt; When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed; Story Boat by Kyo Maclear

2021: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson; Legendborn by Tracy Deonn; Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams; The Power of One by Trudy Ludwig

2019: Varina by Charles Frazier

2018: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

2017: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

2016: Wherever There is Light by Peter Golden

2015: Guests on Earth by Lee Smith

2014: One Second After by William Forstchen

2013: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

2012: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

2011: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

2010: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

2009: The Color of Water by James McBride

2008: One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash

2007: The Bridge by Doug Marlette