Common Reading | OCTC

Common Reading


Heather HensonSpring 2024: Join us at OCTC this Spring and participate in all related events for Common Reading! The book for the Spring 2024 semester is Wrecked by Kentucky author, Heather Henson. Henson is scheduled to visit us Tuesday, March 19, 2024 for a keynote presentation, book reading, and book signing at 12:30 p.m. in Blandford Lecture Hall located in the Humanities Building on OCTC's Main Campus; the event is open to the public. We will also have brunch that morning at 10:30 a.m. lakeside in the OCTC Library located in the Learning Resource Center building on OCTC's Main Campus. For more information, please contact

About the Author and the Book

Heather Henson was raised in Danville, Kentucky amidst the rich history of Pioneer Playhouse, Kentucky's oldest outdoor theatre that happened to be founded by her very own father in 1950. Henson now manages the theatre as its director but has also authored several award-winning and critically acclaimed books for young people, including "That Book Woman," illustrated by Caldecott Medal-winner David Small, and "Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer," illustrated by Caldecott Medal-honoree Bryan Collier.

For several years, Henson was an editor in New York City at HarpersCollins Publishers, but has since moved back to her home state of Kentucky. She and her family are in the process of restoring an old home on their farm with her husband, Tim Ungs, and their three children.

Wreck book cover

More Spring 2024 Common Reading Events!

These events are open to the community!

Blandford Lecture Hall, HUM Bldg., OCTC Main Campus

Free showing of the 2010 film, "The Tempest." This semester's Common Reading selection is loosely based on the same Shakespear play this film was based on! Free popcorn!

Advanced Technology Center, Rm. 107, OCTC Main Campus

OCTC student, Christine Vigil will be giving a presentation, "Waking Up: Hope in the Face of Addiction."

Blandford Lecture Hall, HUM Bldg., OCTC Main Campus

OCTC Associate Professor of Sociology, Chad Gesser will be giving a presentation, "Sound, Design, and Sociology: the Why and Why Not of Wrecked's Fen."

Heads Up!

Keep an eye out for an announcement about our 20th year anniversary celebration of the Owensboro Community & Technical College Common Reading Program during the Fall 2024 semester!

FACEBOOK: To get the most recent updates, pictures, and events through Facebook, please like us on Facebook. Everyone is welcome (you don't have to have a Facebook page to view the page): OCTC Common Reading Facebook

Thank you: Special thanks to the many area donors who are helping us make the Common Reading and other campus initiatives more lasting and vital parts of our community through the NEH Grant efforts.

Note: Often the Common Reading's subject matter is quite complex. An attempt will be made to include a variety of perspectives on related themes or topics. The choice of book and supporting activities or materials are not intended to endorse any particular viewpoint. Please let our committee know if you have suggestions for resources or activities. Thanks!

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) logo Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

LIBRARY DISPLAY: Each semester the OCTC main campus Library (LRC/LRE building) has a display of materials related to the book, writer, and theme of each Common Reading. Check it out!

LEND & LEAVE BOOKSHELF: In the LRC, upstairs near the art gallery, is a display of books that you may take and keep, take and pass on, or take and return. You may also bring some used books to leave for others.

MISSION STATEMENT: What is the Common Reading?

OCTC Common Reading logo

Each semester a book is selected as OCTC's Common Reading, with the idea that all participants could read the same material and have common ground for new discussions and mutual interests. While the book choices vary in many ways (different genres, time-periods, subject matters), they are chosen to expand the knowledge and perspectives of readers. The background of the selected writers is diverse; however, many Kentucky and regional writers are also included to help us appreciate local talent, acknowledge shared concerns, and celebrate our common heritage. All OCTC students, staff, faculty, and interested community members are invited and encouraged to participate by reading the books and attending the related presentations each semester.