I Am a Man by Joe Starita has been selected for the 2010 “One Book — One Lincoln” program.
About One Book – One Lincoln – 2010
One Book – One Lincoln is a community reading program sponsored by Lincoln City Libraries. The program encourages all adults in Lincoln and Lancaster County to read and discuss the same book at the same time. The goal of the program is to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community wide reading and discussion experience.
The idea of city-wide reading programs started in Seattle in 1998 with the program “If All Seattle Read the Same Book” initiated by the Washington Center for the Book, located at the Seattle Public Library. The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book reports that “One Book” programs are being introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world.
This is Lincoln’s ninth year of the program. Since 2002, the citizens of Lincoln and the surrounding communities have been encouraged to read the same book each fall, and participate in special programming and book discussions. You can see an archive of the previous seven years worth of One Book – One Lincoln selections at our One Book main page.
Lincoln City Libraries Reference staff have compiled additional resources about I Am a Man and Joe Starita.
How can I participate?
- Get the Book. Check out a copy of I Am a Man at any of the Lincoln City Libraries or purchase your own copy at your local bookstore. The title is available at Lincoln City Libraries in hardback and paperback format. This title is also available as a Book Club in a Bag version, for book clubs wishing to check out multiple copies at once!
- Read! Join your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and fellow Lincolnites in reading the same book – together!
- Watch an informational program about this year’s One Book — One Lincoln which will begin airing on CityTV (Channel 5 local cable) in September on both Channel 5 and the On Demand channels.
- Attend our related programs.
- Look at our main Resource Page about I Am a Man, and watch for the official schedule of events, in September!
- Visit our new One Book — One Lincoln Facebook page (see the Fan box below!). Look for more online opportunities.
- Sign up to receive e-mail updates about One Book-related programs and events on our 2010 Finalists page.
- Discuss the Book in Person or Online! Attend a Community Discussion at your local library or bookstore. A complete list of Community Discussion groups is available here. Print off the official Discussion Questions for your own book group, or contact the library to have a trained facilitator come and lead your own discussion group. Or visit our One Book One Lincoln Blog to respond to discussion topics posted in a discussion forum.
- Listen to Podcast recordings about I Am a Man on our Podcasts page, or check out our Podcasts Index page, which has a complete list of all One Book-related podcasts!
We can provide a discussion leader for your group
So you want to have a One Book – One Lincoln discussion group, but you don’t have a discussion leader? During September, October and November and beyond, Lincoln City Libraries staff will be available to organizations, businesses and clubs interested in hosting a discussion group. Visit our Finalists page, to request a book discussion leader via our online form, or for further information, call Lincoln City Libraries, 441-8562
What programs will there be?
Several special programs, including an appearance by author Joe Starita, are being scheduled at various locations during September, October or November with ties to the themes and events of I Am a Man. You can see descriptions at our Programs and Events page.
How was I Am a Man chosen?
A call for nominations from the community in January and February resulted in 230 nominations for 140 different titles being received. The general criteria for the title included:
- Fiction or Non-Fiction
- Of general interest to adults and young adults
- Sparks thoughtful discussion
- Easily available in paperback
- Address universal themes of life
A selection committee with community-wide representation was formed to narrow the list down to twelve titles and ultimately the Five Finalists, which were announced to the public in May. Members of the selection committee included:
- Gloria Strope, Chair
- Bob Reeves
- David Smith
- Elaine Westbrook
- Georgiana Lee
- Jeff Kirkpatrick
- Jerry Sellentin
- Joan Ross
- Julie Pokorny
- Kate Janulewicz
- Layne Pierce
- Patty Beutler
- Stephanie Geery-Zink
In 2010, for the first time, the public was invited to vote on which of the Five Finalists you would like to see as the ultimate selection for this year. The title you, the citizens of LIncoln, have selected is I Am a Man by Starita.
“In 1877, Chief Standing Bear’s Ponca Indian tribe was forcibly removed from their Nebraska homeland and marched to what was then known as Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), in what became the tribe’s own Trail of Tears. I Am a Man chronicles what happened when Standing Bear set off on a six-hundred-mile walk to return the body of his only son to their traditional burial ground. Along the way, it examines the complex relationship between the United States government and the small, peaceful tribe and the legal consequences of land swaps and broken treaties, while never losing sight of the heartbreaking journey the Ponca endured.
It is a story of survival — of a people left for dead who arose from the ashes of injustice, disease, neglect, starvation, humiliation, and termination. On another level, it is a story of life and death, despair and fortitude, freedom and patriotism. A story of Christian kindness and bureaucratic evil. And it is a story of hope — of a people still among us today, painstakingly preserving a cultural identity that had sustained them for centuries before their encounter with Lewis and Clark in the fall of 1804. Before it ends, Standing Bear’s long journey home also explores fundamental issues of citizenship, constitutional protection, cultural identity, and the nature of democracy — issues that continue to resonate loudly in twenty-first-century America.
It is a story that questions whether native sovereignty, tribal-based societies, and cultural survival are compatible with American democracy. Standing Bear successfully used habeas corpus, the only liberty included in the original text of the Constitution, to gain access to a federal court and ultimately his freedom. This account aptly illuminates how the nation’s delicate system of checks and balances worked almost exactly as the Founding Fathers envisioned, a system arguably out of whack and under siege today. Joe Starita’s well-researched and insightful account reads like historical fiction as his careful characterizations and vivid descriptions bring this piece of American history brilliantly to life.”
What other books were considered for 2010?
The other finalists in the top five for One Book – One Lincoln – 2010 were:
You can also Click Here for more detailed information about these, and the remainder of the top 12 finalists!