Hillsboro Reads

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The goal of Hillsboro Reads is to foster a sense of community, celebrate reading for pleasure, and promote intergenerational discussion and connection.

Hillsboro Reads events will fill our fall calendar between September 28 and November 3, 2018. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Oregon Book Awards Winner. Literary Arts. Find Your Story Here.

American War by Omar El Akkad Selected for Hillsboro Reads 2018

We are proud to announce that this year’s Hillsboro Reads selection, American War by Omar El Akkad, won the 2018 Oregon Book Awards Ken Kesey Award for the Novel! 

Read more about this prestigious award on the Literary Arts website.

From the publisher:

Book Cover for American War by Omar El Akkad

“An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.”

From the publisher:Portrait of Omar El Akkad, Author of American War

“Omar El Akkad was born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Doha, Qatar until he moved to Canada with his family. He is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. His reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantànamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of Canada’s National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions. He lives in Portland, Oregon.”

Find a Copy

Find a copy of American War by Omar El Akkad in the Library’s catalog. All available formats are included. 

Events Calendar

Enhance your reading experience and connect with other readers when you attend our Hillsboro Reads events! From performances, to group discussions, to a keynote address from the author himself, there are so many ways to engage! View the full calendar of events.  

Passport Program 

Register for the Hillsboro Reads Passport Program and complete activities related to the themes presented in the Hillsboro Reads 2018 selection, American War by Omar El Akkad to earn badges.

Attend events at the Library, contact your legislators, share a copy of the book, and much more! Complete 15 activities and be entered to win a signed copy of the book!


The Brookwood Art Gallery hosts photos and narratives from The Immigrant Story, a local nonprofit that provides a platform for under-represented immigrant voices in our community, selections from Jim Lomasson’s What We Carried, an exhibit which documents what it means to leave everything behind as a refugee, and paintings by renowned Iranian artist Farooq Hasson.

Further Reading, Viewing, and Listening

Call for volunteers

Interested in getting involved? Volunteer at a Hillsboro Reads event! For more information, email our Volunteer Services Team, or call 503-615-3457.


We want to know what you think! Take the Hillsboro Reads 2018 Feedback Survey to help us improve future Hillsboro Reads events.

Hillsboro Reads Sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors: Bag&Baggage, Friends of the Hillsboro Public Library and the Library Foundation of Hillsboro. 

Hillsboro Reads 2019 Book Reveal

Come to the unveiling of the Hillsboro Public Library's 2019 Hillsboro Reads book title at 4:30 pm Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the Vault Theater. View more 2019 Book Reveal information.

The event will be hosted by Bag&Baggage. Beverages and light appetizers will be available. Tickets are $10 and include a drink voucher. For adults 21+.

Tickets are available starting September 28 and must be purchased directly from our host, Bag&Baggage. Purchase tickets here.