WE ENGAGE COMMUNITIES ON A LEARNING JOURNEY IN HISTORY AND SCIENCE

Free monthly book clubs!

Sloan Museum of Discovery Historical Book Club

Every first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m., Sloan Museum of Discovery hosts a free book club (included with museum general admission) in one of our learning labs. All books are affiliated with Flint's storied history. The evening will conclude with a special guided tour through the Sloan Museum History Gallery where club members can connect with the book's historical references through real-life museum artifacts. This is a free gathering, included with Museum Admission. Advance registration is requested; walk-ins accepted.

Longway Planetarium's "Books & Stars" Book Club

Every first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m., Longway Planetarium hosts a free astronomy-related book club. This is a FREE book club. Advance registration is requested; walk-ins accepted.

Many of the featured books can be purchased in person at the Sloan Museum Store, or online at the Online Museum Store.

Meet your Book Club host, Jacquie Richardson, Educator

HISTORICAL BOOK CLUB

 

February's Featured Book: Abandoned Flint

GET THE BOOK

Abandoned Flint by Kyle Brooky

Date: Thursday, February 1, 2024
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

From its start until the 1980s, few cities rivaled the industrialization and growth of Flint, Michigan, but times would change. With the closure of the General Motors plants, the city, which depended so heavily on one company, was in trouble. As the population shrank, crime rose. Pockets of abandonment began to spread across the entire city. What became of these forgotten buildings? Join us as we step foot inside these haunting and beautiful locations including factories, schools, funeral homes, amusement parks, police academies, houses, and much more.

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March's Featured Book: The Watson's go to Birmingham

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The Watson's go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

The story is about the Watson family living in Flint, Michigan. The Watson family consists of a Dad- Daniel, Mom- Wilona, older brother- Byron, younger brother- Kenny, and little sister- Joetta. The novel follows the family in their daily lives in Flint and on their journey to see their grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama. Upon their arrival in Birmingham, they are confronted with the reality of the Civil Rights Movement in the South in 1963.

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BOOKS & STARS BOOK CLUB

 

February's Featured Book: The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission

GET THE BOOK

The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission, by Jim Bell

Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2023
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

The story of the men and women who drove the Voyager spacecraft mission— told by a scientist who was there from the beginning. In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team, including Ed Stone, Voyager’s chief scientist and the one-time head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab; Charley Kohlhase, an orbital dynamics engineer who helped to design many of the critical slingshot maneuvers around planets that enabled the Voyagers to travel so far; and the geologist whose Earth-bound experience would prove of little help in interpreting the strange new landscapes revealed in the Voyagers’ astoundingly clear images of moons and planets.

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March's Featured Book: Cosmic Queries

GET THE BOOK

Cosmic Queries, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2023
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

In this thought-provoking follow-up to his acclaimed StarTalk book, uber astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the world's most important philosophical questions about the universe with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science. In these illuminating pages, illustrated with dazzling photos and revealing graphics, Tyson and co-author James Trefil, a renowned physicist and science popularizer, take on the big questions that humanity has been posing for millennia--How did life begin? What is our place in the universe? Are we alone?--and provide answers based on the most current data, observations, and theories.

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Past Books

January's Featured Book

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Driving While Black: African American Travel and Road to Civil Rights by Gretchen Sorin

Date: Thursday, January 4, 2024
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility—has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road.

January's Books & Stars Featured Book

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American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and The Great Space Race, by Douglas Brinkley

Date: Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

Drawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures who were key to America’s success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life as never before. American Moonshot is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible, the technology that enabled us to propel men beyond earth’s orbit to the moon and return them safely, and the geopolitical tensions that spurred Kennedy to commit himself fully to this audacious dream. Brinkley’s ensemble cast of New Frontier characters include rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn and space booster Lyndon Johnson. A vivid and enthralling chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful, and turbulent eras in the nation’s history, American Moonshot is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit..

December's Featured Book: Hidden Figures

GET THE BOOK

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Date: Wednesday December 6, 2023
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 48503

Hidden Figures tells the story of Black women who work at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia, starting in the early 1940s. These women play an integral role in the development of American aviation and space technology. They persevere in the face of discrimination against both their race and their gender. The first women are hired to work in an all-Black unit as human “computers,” performing calculations under the direction of engineers. Over the years, as Langley desegregates, the women join engineering teams and serve alongside white men. In the 1960s, they work on the Mercury and Apollo space programs, helping to put a man into orbit and then to put men on the Moon.

November's Featured Book

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Miguel Cabrera: The Inspirational Story of Baseball Superstar Miguel Cabrera by Bill Redban

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2023
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

You're about to discover the incredibly inspirational story of baseball superstar Miguel Cabrera. If you're reading this then you must be a Miguel Cabrera fan, like so many others. As a fan, you must wonder how this man is so talented and want to know more about him. Miguel Cabrera is considered as one of the greatest baseball players in the world and it's been an honor to be able to watch him play throughout his career. This book will reveal to you much about Miguel Cabrera's story and the many accomplishments throughout his career.

November's Books & Stars Featured Book

GET THE BOOK

They Dance in the Sky: Native American Star Myths by Jean Guard Monroe

Date: November 1, 2023
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

For countless generations, Native American storytellers have watched the night sky and told tales of the stars and the constellations. The stars themselves tell many tales—of children who have danced away from home, of six brothers who rescue a maiden from the fearful Rolling Skull, of the great wounded sky bear, whose blood turns the autumn leaves red, and many more.

October's Featured Book

Haunted Michigan Graveyards by Bradley P Mikulka

Date: Thursday, October 5, 2023
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

At Reynolds Cemetery in Jackson, the ghost of Eunice White, traveling from nearby Woodlawn Cemetery, can be seen visiting her father's grave. A mysterious lady in white roams the center of Lovejoy Cemetery in Durand. An apparition of the pacing man appears at Mount Joy in St. Johns. And only the bravest dare visit the Upper Peninsula's Mission Hill Cemetery, where a Native American spirit might appear to point them in the right direction.

October's Books & Stars Featured Book

The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers by Emily Levesque

Date: Wednesday October 4, 2023
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

Humans from the earliest civilizations through today have craned their necks each night, using the stars to orient themselves in the large, strange world around them. Stargazing is a pursuit that continues to fascinate us: from Copernicus to Carl Sagan, astronomers throughout history have spent their lives trying to answer the biggest questions in the universe. Now, award-winning astronomer Emily Levesque shares the stories of modern-day stargazers in this new nonfiction release, the people willing to adventure across high mountaintops and to some of the most remote corners of the planet, all in the name of science. From the lonely quiet of midnight stargazing to tall tales of wild bears loose in the observatory, The Last Stargazers is a love letter to astronomy and an affirmation of the crucial role that humans can and must play in the future of scientific discovery.

September's Featured Book

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Maniac: The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer by Harold Schechter

Date: Thursday, September 7, 2023
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

In 1927, while the majority of the township of Bath, Michigan, was celebrating a new primary school―one of the most modern in the Midwest―Andrew P. Kehoe had other plans. The local farmer and school board treasurer was educated, respected, and an accommodating neighbor and friend. But behind his ordinary demeanor was a narcissistic sadist seething with rage, resentment, and paranoia. On May 18 he detonated a set of rigged explosives with the sole purpose of destroying the school and everyone in it. Thirty-eight children and six adults were murdered that morning, culminating in the deadliest school massacre in US history.

June's Books & Stars Featured Book

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The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson

Date: Thursday, June 22, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

Worshipped for over three-fifths of recorded history, Egypt’s gods and goddesses are among the most fascinating of human civilization. The lives of pharaohs and commoners alike were dominated by the need to honor, worship, and pacify the huge pantheon of deities, from the benevolent to the malevolent. The richness and complexity of their mythology is reflected in countless tributes throughout Egypt, from lavish tomb paintings and imposing temple reliefs to humble household shrines.

June's Featured Book

GET THE BOOK

Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit

Date: Thursday, June 15, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit is a work of historical fiction and children’s literature based on the true story of a young woman who pretends to be a man so that she can join the Union army during the US Civil War. Determined not to remain on the sidelines, Emma Edmonds cropped her hair, donned men's clothing, and enlisted in the Union Army. Posing in turn as a slave, peddler, washerwoman, and fop, Emma became a cunning master of disguise, risking discovery and death at every turn behind Confederate lines.

May Books & Stars Featured Book


Maimonides & Science in Sephardi Jewry: Contributions to Modern Science Until 1492 by Daniel Graupe

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

The book begins with a discussion of the Rambam’s views on the importance of the study of the mathematical. physical and life sciences. The Rambam considers scientific study to be a search of truth, and, as such, it is a prime and an integral goal of Judaism. He considered that scientific truth cannot be separated from truth. Thus, he greatly inspired his Sephardi brethren and eventually, Jews worldwide, to engage in the sciences.Subsequently, the book briefly describes the evolution of Jewish scientific involvement from Biblical times till the rise of Sephardi scholarship.

May's Featured Books

Hidden History of Flint | Lost Flint (*Author Gary Flinn will be on-site for book discussion and to sign both books)

Hidden History of Flint
Lost Flint

both books by Gary Flinn, who will be at book club for discussion and signing

Date: Thursday, May 4, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery
1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

Hidden History of Flint
Flint is a city full of legacies overshadowed by tragedy. Read the stories of the innovations and surprising elements of the city's past.
Lost Flint
Flinn uncovers the abandoned places and lost traditions from the Vehicle City's past.

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April Books & Stars Featured Book


Inca Mythology; Captivating Inca Myths of Gods, Goddesses, and Legendary Creatures by Matt Clayton
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI 484503

Inca Mythology: Captivating Inca Myths of Gods, Goddesses, and Legendary Creatures
invites you to go on a startling journey and discover: Stories of the Gods, Inca political myths, five Andean folktales an Inca play, and tales involving the mythologized deeds of Inca emperors and their interactions with divine beings.

April's Featured Book

Summer of '68 - The Season That Changed Baseball, and America, Forever, by Tim Wendel
Date: Thursday, April 6, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St., Flint, MI 48503

From the beginning, ’68 was a season rocked by national tragedy and sweeping change. Opening Day was postponed and later played in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral. That summer, as the pennant races were heating up, the assassination of Robert Kennedy was later followed by rioting in Chicago. But even as tensions boiled over and violence spilled into the streets, something remarkable was happening in major league ballparks across the country and many began hailing ’68 as “The Year of the Pitcher.”

March Books & Stars Featured Book


Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, Heroes Handbook: From Aphrodite to Zeus by Liv Albert
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium, 1310 E. Kearsley St., Flint, MI 48503

In Greek Mythology, you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these personas and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!

March Featured Book

Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, by Robert M. Edsel
Date: Thursday, March 2, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI

At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account from Robert Edsel and Bret Witter follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

February's Books & Stars Featured Book


"27 Stars, 27 Gods: The Astrological Mythology of Ancient India"
by Vic DiCara
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium, 1310 E. Kearsley St., Flint, MI 48503

With the blessings and guidance of a swami , a babaji, and a Sanskrit scholar, Vic DiCara presents you the world's most definitive, simple and completely awesome explanation of the mythology and meaning within the 27 stars of ancient Indian astrology! If you are an astrologer or a fan of astrology, you will be transformed by Vic's radically clear and straightforward explanations of Sanskrit, Vedic mythology, and mastery of intuitive symbolism.

February's Featured Book

Switchboard Soldiers, by Jennifer Chiaverini
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a bold, revelatory novel about one of the great untold stories of World War I--the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, who broke down gender barriers in the military and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.

January's Books & Stars Featured Book


"The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year,"
by Linda Raedisch
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2023
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium, 1310 E. Kearsley St., Flint, MI 48503

In The Old Magic of Christmas, you'll rub elbows with veiled spirits, learn the true perils of elves, and discover a bestiary of enchanted creatures. Rife with the more frightful characters from folklore and the season's most petulant ghosts, this book takes you on a spooky sleigh ride from the silvered firs of a winter forest to the mirrored halls of the Snow Queen. Along the way, you'll discover how to bring the festivities into your home with cookie recipes and craft instructions, as well as tips for delving more deeply into your relationship with the unseen.

January Book Club

Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan's Anishinaabe Sharpshooters

Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan's Anishinaabe Sharpshooters, by Sally M. Walker
Date: Thursday, January 5, 2023
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI

In Deadly Aim, Sally M. Walker explores the extraordinary lives of Michigan’s Anishinaabe sharpshooters. These brave soldiers served with honor and heroism in the line of duty, despite enduring broken treaties, loss of tribal lands, and racism. Walker celebrates the lives of the soldiers whose stories have been left in the margins of history for too long with extensive research and consultation with the Repatriation Department for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways.

December Book Club

Midnight In Vehicle City

Midnight In Vehicle City: General Motors, Flint, and the Strike that Created the Middle Class, by Edward McClelland
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI

Midnight in Vehicle City tells the gripping story of how workers defeated General Motors, the largest industrial corporation in the world. Their victory ushered in the golden age of the American middle class and created a new kind of America, one in which every worker had a right to a share of the company's wealth.

November Book Club

The Women of the Copper Country

The Women of the Copper Country, by Doria Russell
Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI

This novel based on the real life of labor activist Annie Clements traces the consequences of the 25-year-old's decision in 1913 to stand up for herself and the entire copper-mining town of Calumet, Michigan, where men risked their lives for meager salaries underground and the women worked for a similar pittance in the houses of the elite.

October Book Club

Chevy in the Hole

Chevy in the Hole, by Kelsey Ronan
Date: Thursday, October 6, 2022
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Sloan Museum of Discovery, 1221 E. Kearsley St. | Flint, MI

An unlikely romance develops in the shadows of post-industrial Flint, Michigan. After a near-fatal drug overdose in 2014, August Molloy moves from Detroit back to his hometown of Flint. There, he picks up work at a nonprofit community garden, where he meets Monae Livingston.

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