The 2019-20 Common Book is "What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in An American City."

Winona State University Common Book Project will feature "What the Eyes Don't See" by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha as its 2019-20 common book.

About the Book

Published in 2018, "What the Eyes Don't See" tells the story of the Flint, Michigan water crisis from the perspective of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at the city's public hospital.

Despite officials' reassurances that the city's new source of tap water, the Flint River, was fine, evidence mounted that there was something very wrong with the water, and Hanna-Attisha helped to lead an unlikely team of researchers, parents, friends and community leaders in proving that children in Flint were being exposed to lead in their drinking water.

Hanna-Attisha's book highlights the dangers of bureaucratic indifference, misguided austerity policies and the withdrawal of democratic government.

More broadly, "What the Eyes Don't See" offers a compelling account of science-based public advocacy and a fight for justice and self-determination.

Your Assignment...

If you choose to read "What the Eyes Don't See," incorporate what you take away from the book into your life while at the university.

The book will be adopted in numerous sections of ENG 111, College Reading and Writing, and may be adopted in other courses as well. Use this opportunity to learn more about the greater community and turn your knowledge into action.

Where to Buy

"What the Eyes Don't See" is published by Penguin Random House and will be available from the WSU Bookstore and other booksellers.

Additionally, a packet of teaching and contextual materials for prospective adopters is available for those teaching the book.

Faculty adopters should simply list the book (ISBN 978-0399590856) on their book request form through the WSU Bookstore.

Special Thanks

Funding for the Common Book Project has generously been made available by the Lyceum Committee, the College of Liberal Arts and the WSU Bookstore.

For more information about the project, please contact Prof. April Herndon at