Dancing with the Octopus Proclaimed the 2024 One Book One Nebraska

On Jan. 8, 2024, Governor Jim Pillen signed a proclamation honoring 2024 One Book One Nebraska: Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020) by Debora Harding. Rod Wagner, Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB) Board member, and Nebraska Library Commission Director spoke about the program and selection. Dancing with the Octopus is a riveting and thoughtful memoir written by Nebraska native Debora Harding. Kidnapped, assaulted at the age of 14, then left abandoned by her attacker in the middle of a snow storm, Harding recounts the trauma inflicted on herself and her family in the wake of the attack. Poignant in the discussion of mental health and fraught family dynamics that Harding would carry into adulthood, she chooses to meet her attacker many years later. The full proclamation can be viewed on the One Book One Nebraska webpages at http://onebook.nebraska.gov.

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and Humanities Nebraska is entering its twentieth 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. Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events to encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities are available at http://onebook.nebraska.gov.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at 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. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services-“bringing together people and information.”


The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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