One Book effort reaches ‘the end’ in Rosemount

Newbery Award-winning author to speak at Steeple Center

Clare Vanderpool

The final event of the One Book, One Rosemount community reading effort will be from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Steeple Center.

During the night, Clare Vanderpool will give insights into the writing of her book, “Moon Over Manifest,” including her research, family stories, and the creative writing process.

Vanderpool, who is from Wichita, Kan., won the Newbery Award for the book that Rosemount residents were afforded the chance to read in September and participate in a wide range of events, including discussions, workshops, activities, arts and games.

Her historical fiction work centered on a 1930s summer in the life of 12-year-old Abilene Tucker, who is sent by her father to live in the town he grew up in while he worked a railroad job in Iowa.

The book inspired people to write essays about what they would put in their memory boxes; winners of the writing contest will be announced Oct. 9.

“Moon Over Manifest” also spawned discussions about family, hope, home, the financial struggles of people who lived through the Great Depression, the Orphan Train and much more.

“It is a lot of work  to put it all together,” said Jamie Jurgensen, Robert Trail Library manager who helped lead the effort. “This was only made possible by very committed librarians, the mayor was very involved, school principals, church leaders. Everyone thinks it is really important to do this.”

The concept is that having people reading one book and talking about it will bring the community together in small and profound ways.

It’s an effort that was launched by the Rosemount Community Leaders Group, which is composed of civic, church and school leaders, in response to the 2008 stabbing death of 17-year-old Cody Casey, believed to be the city’s first homicide.

Vanderpool said she was humbled to have her book be the central part of Rosemount’s way to bring people together.

“It is a huge honor and I am very much looking forward to the event in Rosemount,” Vanderpool wrote in an email. “I think community wide book events are a great thing for adults and kids and the fact that Rosemount picked a book that can appeal to both is wonderful.”

One Book, One Rosemount was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and sponsors including SKB Environmental, which purchased the hundreds of books that were available for checking out.

In addition to the Dakota County Library System and Friends of the Robert Trail Library, other contributors were the Lions Club, Minnesota Energy, the Rosemount Area Arts Council, Rosemount Historical Society and the city of Rosemount.

The Steeple Center is at 14375 S. Robert Trail.

An interview story with Vanderpool ran in the Aug. 31 Sun Thisweek and is posted online here.

More about Vanderpool is at