One Book, One Michiana 2021
For One Book, One Michiana this year, we invite you to read along with us as we explore a rousing Western tale of revenge and courage. True Grit, originally published in 1968 as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post, has a cast of colorful characters, a strong plot, and a wicked sense of humor.
When Mattie Ross, all of 14 years of age, sets out on a quest to avenge her father’s murder, it changes her life forever. Mattie’s main cohort is Rooster Cogburn, memorably portrayed by both John Wayne and then Jeff Bridges in the two film versions of the book. While he may be many things that challenge her personal code of ethics, Mattie finds Rooster to be a man of true grit, matching her own tenacity and spirit.
Westerns today have a fairly rare following but True Grit has an exceeding strong female protagonist that feels timely. Although the Civil War is a recent memory and women did not have the right to vote, Mattie Ross doesn’t seem too inconvenienced by her own historical era.
In 2021, our One Book choice is the result of a community vote. Over 1,000 people voted for their choice of 3 titles. True Grit is your pick, and we can’t wait to talk about it with you.
Thanks for reading,
To check the availability of True Grit at SJCPL, click here. For events, click here.
Oral History in the Digital Age
Monday, April 5, 12-1 p.m.
Learn about the importance of interviewing your senior relatives. Discover tools at SJCPL for recording interviews and digitizing other media to preserve your family's history. Register here.
Horsing Around with Bandit
Tuesday, April 6, 2-3 p.m.
Just like Mattie's faithful Blackie from True Grit, Bandit the mini horse will steal your heart. Drop in to meet Bandit and learn all about horses from Reins of Life Therapeutic Horseback Riding. This is a virtual event that will take place on Zoom. Join us here.
True Grit Bingo
Thursday, April 8, 6-7:30 p.m.
Pick up a bingo card at the Western Branch Library or receive one via email. Winners can pick up prizes at preferred SJCPL location. Join Zoom Meeting to play here.
Tales from American Folklore
Saturday, April 10, 7-8 p.m.
Tune in via Zoom for stories about 19th Century America.
Wild Women of the Old West
Monday, April 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Join April Lidinsky, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at IU South Bend, for a discussion of the beloved novel, True Grit, and enjoy an opportunity to learn about strong women of the American West. Zoom link here.
Mattie Ross and the Modern Cowgirl Book Discussion
Thursday, April 15, 6-7 p.m.
View a short video of a local cowgirl with her horses and discuss Mattie Ross' true grit qualities. Join via Zoom here.
Frontier Diversions: Storytelling
Saturday, April 17, 1-2 p.m.
Family time! Live from historic Buckley Homestead in Lowell, Indiana, storyteller Cindy Horgash will share stories from the True Grit era in historical costume. Join via Zoom.
Writer's Workshop: Narratives About Women
Tuesday, April 20, 7-8 p.m.
Meet with other writers and discuss women-centered stories. This workshop is presented by award-winning author Kelcey Parker Ervick, who teaches creative writing at Indiana University South Bend. Join via Zoom here.
An American Voice: An Evening with Jay Jennings
Monday, April 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Author Jay Jennings speaks about "True Grit" and the life and writing of Charles Portis. A Q&A session will follow. Register here.
Books on Tap: Old West Edition
Thursday, April 29, 7-8 p.m.
Literary discussions and heady libations on the last Thursday of each month. Book on Tap has moved online or outdoors, weather permitting. Social distancing can't keep us from socializing! Join via Zoom here.
True Grit & Determination: Finding Your Female Ancestors with Amber Oldenburg
Saturday, May 1, 10-11 a.m.
Explore why the female ancestors in your family tree can be difficult to find. Genealogist Amber Oldenburg shares techniques for researching these elusive ancestors. Registration required. Register here.