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One Book One Sioux County

One Book One Sioux County a collaborative program among the 8 public and 3 academic libraries in Sioux County in an attempt at community building through community conversation.

In this annual endeavor people and libraries-both public and academic-across Sioux County read and discuss the same book. The libraries host book talks in their own towns throughout the year. In the fall a collaborative event is held at a central location. In the past this has been the author visiting and a panel discussion of people involved in the story.

Join authors Achut Deng and Keely Hutton on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2024 at 7pm at Dordt University for One Book, One Sioux County’s main event.

Visit our calendar to view information about other upcoming events related to this year’s One Book One Sioux County selection or contact your local library to see when they are hosting a book discussion.

This year’s selection is Don’t Look Back: A Memoir of War, Survival, and My Journey from Sudan to America by Achut Deng and Keely Hutton.

Don't look back dust jacket cover image

About the Book Don’t Look Back

Many are familiar with the stories of the Lost Boys of Sudan.  Our One Book, One Sioux County choice for 2024 is a memoir of a girl who survived the Sudanese Civil War and fought to save her own life.  Achut Deng walked miles through a war-torn country, ending up in a refugee camp where she lived for 10 years; she eventually had the opportunity to move to the United States and settled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Her powerful story details her experiences, her unwavering perseverance, and her will to live.

Deng’s story, written with author Keely Hutton, chronicles the terrifying reality of growing up in a war zone, a situation faced by far too many children across the world. Yet the book is also a testament to the goodness in humanity and the power of moving forward, overcoming the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the way.

About the Authors Achut Deng and Keely Hutton

Achut Deng was born in South Sudan and came to America as a refugee when she was sixteen years old. She is now an American citizen and works in human resources at a meat-packing plant in South Dakota, where she also resides. She is the mother of three sons.

Keely Hutton is a children’s book author and former English teacher. She worked closely with Ricky Richard Anywar to tell his story in her debut novel, Soldier Boy. Her second novel, Secret Soldiers, is set in the Western Front during World War I. Keely lives in Rochester, NY with her husband, two sons, and adorable dog named Maximus.

Introduction from the Author


One Book One Sioux County Selections by Year:

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