Big Read 2011 Focuses on Civil War Literature for Sesquicentennial Observance
The Springfield-Greene County Library District is among dozens of area organizations making plans to observe the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War in 2011.
We’ve selected the Civil War as the centerpiece of the April 2011 Big Read. It’s the library’s annual community reading project, when we celebrate the power of books in creating a stronger community. Our theme is “Voices of Conflict: The American Civil War.”
Typically we select one book and encourage all ages to read it, discuss it and attend a library program related its themes. Last year’s title, “A Long Way from Chicago,” included a visit from the author, Richard Peck, and themed events including music, book discussions and a four-day, standing-room-only chautauqua with characters of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Will Rogers, Henry Ford and Aimee Semple McPherson.
Why am I writing about this now? So you can start reading the books we’ve selected for the 2011 Big Read – because we’re recommending nine titles this time. There are too many good books about the Civil War to select just one.
Here are the titles in each age group you’ll want to check out:
- The adult main title is “Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara
- “Wilson’s Creek: the Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It” by William G. Piston and Richard W. Hatcher
- “Jesse James: The Last Rebel of the Civil War” by T.J. Stiles
- Young adult: “The River Between Us” by Richard Peck
- “Nine Months in the Infantry Service of the U.S.: A Personal Narrative of Incidents Experienced and Observed in the Home Guards and Phelps Regiments” by R.P. Matthews
- “The Brothers’ War: Civil War Voices in Verse” by J. Patrick Lewis
- Children’s: “Mr. Lincoln’s Drummer” by G. Clifton Wisler
- “Days of Jubilee” by Patricia and Fred McKissack
- “Walt Whitman: Words for America” by Barbara Kerley
The library is also a partner in the 2011 Missouri Literary Festival Sept. 23-25, 2011, at The Creamery Arts Center. It will highlight Civil War literature and its authors including keynote guest Jeff Shaara, who wrote “Gods and Generals,” “The Last Full Measure” and others. Interestingly, his father is the same Michael Shaara who penned the upcoming Big Read main title, “Killer Angels.”
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