The project in question prompts them to wander Indiana, to discover the wonders that their home state has to offer before they go off to college or other life endeavors and miss their chance. And wander is exactly what Finch and Violet and do – to real places in Richmond & Wayne County, Indiana that you can see for yourself.
The town in All the Bright Places might be named Bartlett, but it's actually Richmond. And Bartlett High is none other than Richmond's own high school, complete with bell tower. This is where Finch and Violet first meet, and thus it may be considered the most important place in the book, as their story may not have even happened if not for the tower.
Hoosier Hill is the first location Finch and Violet travel to. It's the highest point in Indiana, at 1,257 feet above sea level, and if you live in Richmond, you're only eleven miles away from it! While it sits on private property, the property's owner allowed a trail to be established in 2005, and now there's a boulder marking the area as well. Follow in Finch and Violet's footsteps as they stand atop the hill and look over the land around it.
The Purina Tower is first mentioned in an off-hand comment from Finch's school counselor, Mr. Embry, during their session immediately following the incident on the bell tower. It's inconsequential here, but is mentioned again later when the teens climb to the top of the tower in the evening, then accidentally fall asleep and stay all night. Outside of the book, it's impossible to sneak onto the tower – the only way up is from inside the Purina Factory. *Do not attempt to trespass* Photo Credit: James Westfall
Another location that's only mentioned as a throwaway line in the book, the Arboretum is a great place to check out either by yourself or with friends and family. With over four hundred acres of land and trails to explore, either by foot or by bike, you can easily spend a few days there. And the Arboretum classes are a great way to introduce your children to the great outdoors. From frogs, reptiles, and feathered friends, to earth art, to introductory wood carving, there's something for just about everyone.
Mentioned by Finch and Violet but not a stop along their journey, the Levi Coffin House in Fountain City was home to Levi and Catherine Coffin, and was a central meeting point for three separate routes of the Underground Railroad. The Coffins helped 2000 slaves during their time in Indiana, and their home now stands as a monument to those days.
If you'd like to follow in Finch and Violet's footsteps, pick up All the Bright Places today, and make sure you give it a read before the premier of the Netflix adaptation. Signed copies are available at the Old National Road Welcome Center, 5701 National Road East, Richmond, IN 47374
Blog Written By: Guest Blogger Ally Rae