12/28/11 The One Book/One Town initiative is expanding. The Friends of the Plymouth Public Library selected Shelby Foote’s novel Shiloh in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh that took place April 6-7, 1862. This title will be the focus for the area’s One Book, One Town event, a national movement that challenges communities to read the same book and discuss their responses with friends and family. This year the program will engage communities across Marshall County in “A Civil Conversation” about ideas and issues related to the novel. The book explores such issues as confrontation vs compromise, pacifism vs militarism, masculine vs feminine roles, as well as issues regarding individual point-of-view and historical perspective. This year the reading program is also expanding to include junior high readers with the Civil War-related, young-adult novel, Behind Rebel Lines by Seymour Reit. In collaboration with the One Book/One Town planning committee, a group within the Plymouth Community Schools applied to the Indiana Arts Commission for an Arts in Education grant to develop participation within the schools and set up “virtual book clubs” for both Plymouth High School and Lincoln Junior High students.
The event is a spearheaded by the Friends of the Plymouth Public Library, but is developed in partnership with the Marshall County Historical Society, Encore Performing Arts, and the Plymouth Community Schools. As well, the area public libraries including Plymouth, Argos, Bourbon, Bremen, and Culver-Union Township will be fostering local events focused on the book selections. While students and the Marshall County community read, there will be several community-wide activities to celebrate literacy and learning. The museum will host a Civil War Era tea with exhibits, costumes, and music as a kick-off for the One Book/One Town program. Encore will offer a Saint Patrick’s Day concert of Irish Civil War Era music. Civil War enthusiast Robert Herr will provide information of interest about the Battle of Shiloh and local regiments and individuals who participated. The Plymouth Public Library will host Herr’s presentation. In April, local re-enactors and history buffs will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh by staging a Living History event in cooperation with the Park Department and the sponsorship of Encore. Finally, artist Debra Conner will perform in the Plymouth schools and for the community as Mary Edwards Walker, the only female surgeon who served during the Civil War.
The One Book/One Town experiences will help our community commemorate the Battle of Shiloh as a milestone of American History while promoting literacy and the power of conversation – especially “A Civil Conversation” among all our area residents.
TIMELINE FOR ONE BOOK/ONE TOWN – MARSHALL COUNTY 2012
03/04/12 Kick off of “A Civil Conversation” with afternoon tea at museum
03/13/12 “The Irish Volunteer” Concert of Irish American Civil War Songs
03/18/12 Public lecture at the library by Robert Herr on the Battle of Shiloh and the Indiana Volunteers
04/02 – 04/27/12 Virtual Book Club participation at high school and junior high
04/06-07/12 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh
04/13-14/12 Living History Exhibition
04/22/12 Plymouth community-wide book discussion at the Plymouth Public Library on Shelby Foote’s Shiloh: A Novel
04/24 & 25/12 Debra Conner presents Mary Edwards Walker