Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene
Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene is Nebraska's reading choice for the 2014
One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. In this nonfiction
story, bestselling author and award-winning journalist Bob Greene goes
out in search of "the best America there ever was," and finds it in a
small Nebraska town few people pass through today--a town where Greene
discovers the echoes of a love story between a country and its sons.
During World War II, American soldiers from every city and walk of life
rolled through North Platte, NE, on troop trains en route to their
ultimate destinations in Europe and the Pacific. This small town,
wanting to offer the servicemen warmth and support, transformed its
modest railroad depot into the North Platte Canteen. Every day of the
year, every day of the war, the Canteen-staffed and funded entirely by
local volunteers-was open from five a.m. until the last troop train of
the day pulled away after midnight. Once Upon a Town tells the story of
how this plains community of only 12,000 people provided welcoming
words, friendship, and baskets of food and treats to more than six
million GIs by the time the war ended.
One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska
Center for the Book, is entering its tenth year. It encourages
Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from
books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or
setting. A committee of the Nebraska Center for the Book selected this
book from a list of 71 titles nominated by 141 Nebraskans from across
the state. The Nebraska Center for the Book board announced the choice
for the 2014 One Book One Nebraska at the Celebration of Nebraska Books
on October 26, 2013, in Lincoln.
Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural
organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that
will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support
materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be
available after January 1, 2014, at
http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be
posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook group at
One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by
Nebraska Center for the Book,
Nebraska Library Association, and
Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at and supported
by the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state's
readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers,
educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting
programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading,
and the written word.
— Check the
Events Calendar for happenings near you.
— The Proclamation Ceremony took place place
Jan. 16 in the Warner Chamber of the State Capitol in Lincoln.
to R: Chris Sommerich (Humanities Nebraska), Mary Ellen Ducey
(University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Governor Dave Heineman, Rosalie
Lippincott (former North Platte Canteen volunteer), Rose Barcal (La
Vista Public Library) and Rod Wagner (Nebraska Library Commission). Photo courtesy Humanities Nebraska
— Library Book Club Kits are available from the Nebraska Library Commission.
Request a kit2
— Planning an event for 2014? Submit the name
of the program, location, date and time to be included on the