Join your neighbors in reading our annual One Town One Title selection:

The Twenty-Ninth Day by Alex Messenger book cover

The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra by Alex Messenger

A six-hundred-mile canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is a seventeen-year-old’s dream adventure, but after he is mauled by a grizzly bear, it’s all about staying alive.

This true-life wilderness survival epic recounts seventeen-year-old Alex Messenger’s near-lethal encounter with a grizzly bear during a canoe trip in the Canadian tundra. The story follows Alex and his five companions as they paddle north through harrowing rapids and stunning terrain. Twenty-nine days into the trip, while out hiking alone, Alex is attacked by a grizzly. Left for dead, he wakes to find that his summer adventure has become a struggle to stay alive. Over the next hours and days, Alex and his companions tend his wounds and use their resilience, ingenuity, and dogged perseverance to reach help at a remote village a thousand miles north of the US-Canadian border.

The Twenty-Ninth Day is a coming-of-age story like no other, filled with inspiring subarctic landscapes, thrilling riverine paddling, and a trial by fire of the human spirit.

One Town One Title Events

Book Distribution Begins

January 17

Van Horn Public Library and Pine Island City Hall. Get your free copy while supplies last!

Winterfest Book Distribution

January 28

2:00-3:30 – Family Bingo at the American Legion

4:00-8:00 – Soup & Chili Feed at the Golf Course

Books & Brews – Adventure

Wednesday, February 1 @ 6:30

South x SouthEast Brewing Company

Books & Brews is our nontraditional book club where we discuss book genres instead of specific books. We start with an overview of the genre – including its history, favorite authors, and important titles – before sharing our favorites with each other. In keeping with the adventure of a lifetime in The Twenty-Ninth Day, we will be talking about other books featuring adventures.

Book Club

Wednesday, February 8 @ 6:30

Upstairs at City Hall

Join our book club as we talk about our One Town One Title selection.


Wednesday, February 15 @ 6:30

Pine Island History Center

Join an Oxbow Park naturalist at the Pine Island History center on a lesson about bears! You will learn about the Minnesota resident black bear along with other species found throughout the world. Awesome artifacts will also be included.

Geocaching 101

Thursday, February 23 @ 6:30 Rescheduled for Thursday, March 9

Upstairs at City Hall

Every trip in the wilderness requires good navigation skills and figuring out where to go. Geocaching is a fun hobby that allows you to find caches or hidden stashes of “treasure” based on their longitude and latitude coordinates. Miss Angie Severson will cover the basics of geocaching including its history and how to get started.

Author Alex Messenger

Tuesday, February 28 @ 7:00

Pine Island History Center

Picture of Alex Messenger

Meet Minnesota author Alex Messenger, who will read selections from his book, answer audience questions and sign books.

Alex Messenger is a Duluth, Minnesota, author, marketer and photographer who, at seventeen, was mauled by a grizzly bear. In the decade afterward, he’s worked as a wilderness guide, marketing specialist, photographer and volunteer search-and-rescue operator. His love of adventure, nature, and cultures has taken him all over the globe, but the north woods and canoe country have always been among his favorite subjects. His memoir, The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra was a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards, among other accolades. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Men’s Journal, National Parks magazine, Outside, and Backpacker.