One Book, One Michiana Digital Exhibit — Papers Alight: Contextualizing Mike Curato’s "Flamer"

(part of a series)

Location: Virtual


Every year in April, the community comes together to read and discuss one book. This year’s One Book title is Flamer, by Mike Curato. Published September 1, 2020, Flamer is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel set in 1995 at a Boy Scouts summer camp. It tells the story of Aiden, who is bullied and on a path of self-discovery.

This online exhibition displays rare materials from Hesburgh Libraries collections that place Mike Curato’s teen graphic novel into a historical and social context.

Sources about the Boy Scouts, a sampling of Catholic pamphlets, and a selection of LGBTQ documents explore themes raised by the author that also resonate with contemporary audiences.

This exhibit was curated by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian and Curator, and Greg Bond, Curator of the Joyce Sports Research Collection, Hesburgh Libraries.


About One Book

One Book, One Michiana is a regional, community-based reading initiative sponsored annually by St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend. The program model takes the idea of a localized book discussion club and expands it to cover a whole city. The first program was "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book" in 1998, started by Nancy Pearl at Seattle Public Library's Washington Center for the Book. Since then, over 400 other cities nationwide have started One Book programs.