The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Reading Between the Lines: A Q&A with Plattsmouth Public Library

Plattsmouth, NE

As part of the Nebraska Humanities Council Speaker Series, Mark Twain impersonator Wally Seiler presented "Mark Twain on the Lecture Circuit? for Plattsmouth Public Library's Big Read kick-off. Photo courtesy of Plattsmouth Public Library

Channeling small town life in the 19th century isn?t that difficult for the citizens of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. They simply need to visit the Cass County Historical Society Museum to trace their history back to 1854, the year the town was settled. With these resources, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was an obvious choice for Plattsmouth Public Library?s third Big Read. Kirsten Wood, children?s librarian for the Plattsmouth Public Library, tells us more about her community?s Big Read, which included book discussions with Mark Twain impersonator Wally Seiler and a play adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by the Plattsmouth Players.

NEA: In the past, your community has read The Maltese Falcon and Wilder?s The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town. Why did you choose The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for this year?

KIRSTEN WOOD: We chose The Adventures of Tom Sawyer because we are a small river town situated between the Missouri River and the Platte River. The themes, settings, and characters are all as relevant to our town now as they were to Hannibal, Missouri then (except I don?t hear about anyone curing warts with a dead cat). We also had such a success with our play production of Our Town, and this was a great opportunity to produce another play and to include more kids in the cast.

NEA: What Big Read event are you most looking forward to?

WOOD: The Becky Thatcher Tea Party because it is something completely different and a great opportunity to give children a chance to participate in the program.

NEA: What has been your community?s reaction to The Big Read?

WOOD: It has been really fun. The response to our programs, the willingness of people to volunteer to help, to wear costumes, and to talk about the book has been great! This year we included two high schools in our area, which distributed book copies to the students which really added to the fun so we will be building on this partnership in the future.

NEA: Any last words?

WOOD: Thank you to Arts Midwest for their patience, support, and encouragement over the last three years. The staff is amazing and we look forward to working with them again in the future. Thank you to our community for being so receptive and open to this program and for reading the books!

Plattsmouth Public Library?s Big Read continues through June 26. For more information, visit their website. For more information on The Big Read and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, visit The Big Read website.

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