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Curry Common Read: Educated

Online guide for the Curry School of Education and Human Development to explore resources and themes related to Tara Westover's Educated.


Each year, the Curry Diversity Action Committee, in consultation with Curry community members, chooses a book to serve as the Common Read. The Common Read provides a venue for learning, sharing diverse points of view, fostering open discussion, and building respect for each other and new and different ideas. This year's Common Read is Educated by Tara Westover.


Need a copy? Request the book through UVA Library!

Book cover of Educated by Tara Westover. Drawing of a pencil made to look like a mountain peak.


Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent. When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.