It’s an amazing honor.

MSUB alumna Sabrena Half and Professor of Marketing A.J. Otjen are selected to represent Montana on the coveted “Great Reads from Great Places” list for the 2023 National Book Festival of the Library of Congress.

Elk Morning at the Battle of Arrow Creek is based on a true story with new interpretations by Half and Otjen. “It is the story that has made it worthy of this honor,” says Half. “The Battle of Arrow Creek is considered the greatest event in Crow history.” 

The Battle of Arrow Creek has been told from many different perspectives due to its significance; Half and Otjen chose to focus their retelling on a fictional character and utilize images to help share their message. “We added our Elk Morning character to the story and paintings by Kevin Red Star to bring it to life,” adds Otjen.

One book from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas was selected by the affiliate Centers for the Book to make up the list; each selection represents each state’s literary heritage in some way. 

Examples of state representation include: the author being born in the state or residing there, the selected book being set in the particular state, or some other connection. 

Congratulations to Sabrena Half and A.J. Otjen for an incredible achievement.

The 2023 National Book Festival took place in Washington, D.C., on August 12.