Parable of the Sower

Read the celebration science fiction novel, about a teenager with hyper-empathy creating community in a climate-ravaged world.

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"Welcome to the SciFri Book Club page about Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. There’s lots of ways to participate: Read the book, join our community space, attend an event, sign up for our email newsletter, or email us with your thoughts.

This June, the SciFri Book Club is reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. Written in 1993, Parable of the Sower begins in a fictional 2024, when global climate change and economic crises lead to societal chaos. Danger is around every corner in California, from pervasive water shortage to a new drug that makes addicts set the city ablaze. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her family and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. But Lauren’s unique ability to hyper-empathize with others gives her a different perspective on living amidst change, and leads her to begin a new system of thought that connects humans with the Earth.

Parable of the Sower brings together a range of topics, including climate change, afrofuturism, health, psychology, religion, conservation, and more—and we’ll touch on these ideas throughout this Book Club season. You can get your copy from your local bookstore or on

This Book Club season kicks off on Saturday, June 1, and you can read along with us! We’ll be (loosely) following this schedule, but all our readers are welcome to join us at their own pace:

  • June 1-2: Chapters 1-3
  • June 3-9: Chapters 4-13
  • June 10-16: Chapters 14-19
  • June 17-23: Chapters 20-25
  • June 24-30: Final thoughts

Plus, we’ll be hosting events throughout the month! Keep an eye out on our website or join our Events newsletter to be the first to know.

There are so many ways to dive in and participate! You can grab a copy of the book (and support the author and SciFri), join the discussion in our online Book Club community, sign up for our email newsletter, or RSVP for our upcoming Book Club events. Check out all the details below.

Grab Your Own Copy

If you’d like to purchase a physical copy, we encourage you to start local! Check out the SciFri Book Club partner bookstores and libraries—if you’re in the area, consider supporting your local bookseller or public library (plus, mention our Book Club for a percentage off your purchase at participating shops!).

Our Partners

Want more ways to read? This book is available in a few formats via online retailers, your local library, or elsewhere:

Your local library may not currently have Is Math Real? in its catalog, but many branches offer ways for patrons like you to submit book suggestions to librarians. Look for ways to suggest new titles via the Libby or OverDrive app, a form submission on your library’s website, or a suggestion box at your local branch!

Save The Date: SciFri Book Club Events

SciFri Book Club June community meeting: Parable of the Sower

Want to meet other SciFri Book Club members, talk about the book selection, and find more resources for deeper learning—all without leaving your home? Our community meeting is the place for you!

RSVP for June 25

This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics featured in Parable of the Sower. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about climate change, afrofuturism, health, psychology, religion, conservation and more.

Join Our Community Space

And as you start reading, join us on our online community space: the SciFri Book Club is on Mighty Networks, a platform where we can gather, read and discuss science books together. We’ve built this community space to create a better way for readers to stay connected with other Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there!

Join Our Community

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Subscribe to SciFri Book Club emails to stay updated on our monthly read sand join us for community discussions. We’ll send emails a few times per week.