The NEA Big Read: Quincy and Little Read
The NEA Big Read and the Little Read, Quincy’s popular community read for all ages, will kick off Thursday, September 13, from 4 to 6 pm, at Quincy Public Library. Come pick up your free book and get ready for a month of exciting events!
The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for The Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Quincy Public Library was selected as one of 79 nationwide recipients for the NEA Big Read in a competitive grant process.
Quincy Public Library enjoys wide community support for the NEA Big Read, including the Friends of the Quincy Public Library and additional individual and business donors.
To read more about the grant program, visit the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Books and Authors
Adults and teens can pick up a free copy of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel., a dystopian novel that ultimately describes a world of hope. Kids can choose to receive The Big Dark by Rodman Philbrick or Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss.
Books will be available beginning at the Big Read Kick Off and will continue as long as supplies last. One book per person please.
All three of QPL’s Big Read book selections contain themes of thought-provoking ideas and new experiences.
Station Eleven can be read as a galloping story, begging the reader to keep turning pages – or as a thoughtful discussion starter: How WOULD we live without technology? Does technology connect and define us? Or is it the arts that connect us across years and cultures? National Public Radio said “I kept putting the book down, looking around me, and thinking, ‘Everything is a miracle.’”
Station Eleven tells the story of a small band of survivors, the Traveling Symphony theater troupe, struggling to make their way 20 years after a global pandemic decimates the Earth.
Station Eleven was awarded the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications. It has been translated into 27 languages.
Read about Station Eleven on the NEA Big Read website.
Read about author Emily St. John Mandel
Read community stories about Station Eleven events.
Rodman Philbrick is a prolific author, creating stories for children and adults. His novel Freak the Mighty won several awards and was made into a feature film. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg was awarded a Newbery Honor.
Read more about Rodman Philbrick on his website.
View discussion questions for The Big Dark.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
A Caldecott Honor book, Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin features irresistible rhymes introducing musical instruments and musical groups. Zin! has been translated into several languages and has exceeded 15 printings.
Lloyd Moss, a popular classical music host on New York’s WQXR, gained his interest in music when he began playing trombone in a dance band, His career took a varied route, from announcing on Armed Forces Radio, to voiceovers, acting, and writing children’s books. Read more about Lloyd Moss
Museums of Civilization
Station Eleven and The Big Dark describe many items that didn’t work after a cataclysmic event. Can you identify mystery items, once commonly used by previous generations? Download a scavenger hunt sheet, then visit Quincy Museum, the History Museum, and John Wood Mansion to learn more.
View a pdf of the Quincy Museum scavenger hunt sheet.
The NEA Big Read and Little Read offer a month of exciting events in Quincy for all ages.
View a pdf of all QPL Big Read events, click here.
View today’s events, check our Library calendar.
View nationwide Big Read events, visit neabigread.org.
QPL is pleased to offer books, teacher’s guides; discussion guides and additional resources for area educators. Call us at 223-1309 to inquire about teacher packets prepared and delivered to you.
View a Station Eleven Readers Guide
View Discussion Questions
The NEA Big Read and the Little Read would not be possible without the support from the many corporate, civic and individual donors. Their participation affirms the importance our Quincy community places on literacy and the value of literacy in building a stronger community.
- Friends of the Library
- Blessing Health System
- Community Foundation of the Quincy Area
- The Regional Office of Education
- H.W. Knapheide
- Quincy Recycle
- Quincy Noon Kiwanis
- State Street Bank
- Town and Country Bank
- Heimer & Associates
- First Mid-Illinois Bank
The NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, showcases a diverse range of contemporary titles reflecting different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery.
Studies show that there are multiple physical and cultural benefits in reading for pleasure.
Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million in grants to organizations across the U.S. Grantees have leveraged more than $44 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 4.9 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event.
About the NEA Big Read: Quincy and the Little Read
Quincy Public Library began offering the NEA Big Read in 2008. Each year QPL undergoes a competitive grant process, which brings federal dollars to our area, for selection as an NEA Big Read location. Strong community support and participation with the program has encouraged us to continue the NEA Big Read with additional titles since then. Beginning in 2014, QPL began offering the Little Read, following requests for a corresponding program for younger readers.
NEA Big Read and Little Read titles offered in Quincy include:
- 2018 Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Big Dark by Rodman Philbrick
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
- 2017 Five Skies by Ron Carlson
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Jeff Brown and Macky Pamintuan
- 2016 The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
The Five Ancestors: Tiger by Jeff Stone
Dragon Dance by Joan Holub
- 2015 (Little Read only)
The Cupcake Caper by Gertrude Chandler Warner;
Baker, Baker, Cookie Maker by Linda Hayward
- 2014 The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett;
The Malted Falcon by Bruce Hale;
The Lost Dinosaur Bone by Mercer Mayer
- 2013 True Grit by Charles Portis
- 2012 The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
- 2011 Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
- 2010 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- 2009 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- 2008 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury