Two books, one community

By Melanie M. Hedberg

Contributing Writer

The Rush City Public Library portrays a winter ‘survival scene’ for the Community-Wide Read during February and March. Here, Mayor Dan Dahlberg kicked off this year’s read at the Mayoral Proclamation. Photo by Melanie M. Hedberg
The Rush City Public Library portrays a winter ‘survival scene’ for the Community-Wide Read during February and March. Here, Mayor Dan Dahlberg kicked off this year’s read at the Mayoral Proclamation.
Photo by Melanie M. Hedberg

The Rush City Friends of the Library group has spent countless hours discussing books and authors to make sure this year’s Community-Wide Read choices will appeal to everyone.

They are proud to announce this year’s book selections — Louis L’Amour’s “Last of the Breed” and youth companion novel, “The Sign of the Beaver,” written by Elizabeth George Speare.

Newly sworn-in Rush City Mayor Dan Dahlberg helped launch the 2013 Rush City Community Read during a special program Jan. 23 at the Rush City Public Library.

“Such a program can bring people…together through the shared experience of reading, discussing and exploring the same book,” he read in the Mayoral’s Proclamation. He urged all residents to become involved by reading one or both of the books and participate in community activities related to the program.

“The Rush City library hosts many intriguing events; stay tuned…there could be an event that piques your interest,” Dahlberg added.

Joining him at the brief program were Friends of the Library members Sue Karvonen, Jim Redfield, Diane Buehring and Melanie Hedberg. Librarian Donna Larson was also on hand for the opening ceremony.


About the books

In “Last of the Breed,” a contemporary epic about downed American test pilot “Joe Mack” Makatozi, the Russians capture Mack. This novel will not disappoint readers of L’Amour’s westerns. Mack escapes prison only to face the seemingly impossible odds of getting across Siberia to the Bering Strait where he can cross into North America. Part Sioux, Mack is a classic American hero thrown back in the wilderness and forced to rely on his wits and ancestral skills to survive the deadly cold and elude his Soviet pursuers.

Photo by Melanie Hedberg
Photo by Melanie M. Hedberg

“The Sign of the Beaver,” a Newberry Honor Book, weaves a story about a father who returns East to collect the rest of the family, and his 13-year-old son Matt is left alone to guard his family’s newly built Maine homestead. When bee stings render him sick and unconscious, Matt awakens under the care of an elderly Native American. The old man strikes a deal with Matt and his grandson, Attean. Attean reluctantly teaches Matt survival skills, while Matt teaches Attean to read.

Adults and youth are invited to enjoy one or both of this year’s selections, which are available in print, book on CD, eBook and eAudio formats. Copies can be reserved at the Rush City library. Children age 9 and younger are invited to participate in a coloring contest, and adventurers of all ages are encouraged to checkout the online Wilderness Survival Game at:


Don’t miss these events

Check out the following calendar of events:

• Families are invited to enjoy a viewing of the 2007 movie based on the youth selection, “The Sign of the Beaver,” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 at CE Jacobson Elementary School. This unrated historical wilderness adventure stars Keith Carradine and Annette O’Toolle. Popcorn with be served, and there will be a brief book/movie discussion following the movie.

• Youth and adults are invited to an exciting and informative event on Thursday, March 7 at the library. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., experienced local outdoorsmen will share about personal winter camping adventures and give tips about surviving and thriving in Minnesota’s winter outdoor wonderland.

• All who read the adult selection are invited to a lively book discussion at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 at the Rush City library. Refreshments will be served by Friends of the Library.

• On Tuesday, March 19, inspirational author and adventurer Tyler Fish will be speaking about his book, “Forward,” a story about the first American unsupported expedition to the North Pole. Adults and teens are welcome to attend this library program at 6:30 p.m.

• Stop and shop at this year’s Great BIG Book Sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The book sale offers great prices and runs from March 9-23 during regular library hours. Donations can be dropped off at the library, and all proceeds go directly to the Rush City Public Library for programs and materials.

The 2013 Community-Wide Read project — funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund — is brought to Rush City by the East Central Regional Library, Rush City Public Library, and Rush City Friends of the Library. A special thanks to the Rush City Lions, whose financial support has made this year’s read possible.


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