Quincy University Associate Professor of Education, Cindy Lovell, Ph.D., co-authored Down the Mississippi: A Modern-day Huck on America's River Road with CNN iReporter, Neal Moore. Moore canoed the length of the river in 2009, collecting positive stories of everyday Americans for his iReports. Moore met Lovell, who also serves as the executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, during his stop in Hannibal.
"When Neal arrived in Hannibal by canoe we were immediately taken with his story," Lovell said. The idea of traveling the river in search of positive stories resonated with us, and he instantly became an honorary Hannibalian." The two eventually decided to collaborate on the book, in which Lovell integrates Twain's voice throughout Moore's positive experiences on the river, which included elders passing on the dance of the Ojibwe, practical farming in Iowa, surviving the economic blues in Clarksdale, and inmates focusing on communication at "The Farm," the nation's largest maximum security prison.
Lovell and Moore launched the book on July 28 at the Mark Twain Museum Gallery. The launch story was chosen as an editor's pick by CNN's Team iReport. This is the first book by an iReporter. Moore, a self-described citizen journalist and creative activist, was inspired to make the journey in the spirit of the late Dan Eldon, a photojournalist killed in Mogadishu, Somalia. Kathy Eldon, Dan's mother, wrote the preface for the book. James R. Peipert, a retired journalist, editor, and foreign correspondent for The Associated Press, wrote the introduction. The book is available through the museum and other outlets.