Playing with the Enemy
One Book, One Freeport

One Book, One Freeport 2011: Playing with the Enemy by Gary Moore

The Book

IT WAS TRUE IN THE 1940s, and it is still true today: if you have talent, someone will notice. In Gene Moore's case, that someone was the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Gene Moore was a farm boy living with his family in Sesser, Illinois, a town so small even map makers ignored it. As a teenager, when he wasn't in school or helping his Pop on the farm, slopping the hogs and doing other chores with his older brother Ward and five sisters, Gene was playing baseball with the guys on the town team.

Inspired by true events, Playing with the Enemy is the riveting story of a depression-era youth and his brush with destiny. Author Gary Moore, Gene's son, did not learn of his father's remarkable odyssey through World War II and the hardships of minor league baseball until the day before Gene's death. Confronted with evidence of a possible career in baseball, Gene finally broke his decades of silence and spent the next several hours relieving himself of the heavy burden he had been carrying. The stunning news sent the author on his own odyssey as he researched his father's life and interviewed dozens of people. Back to top

Gary W. Moore February 24, 7 p.m., Gary Moore, Author Presentation, HCC Student Conference Center, Room 201
The Author

Gary W. Moore is known worldwide as an inspirational and motivational speaker of choice, successful entrepreneur accomplished musician, and award-winning and critically acclaimed author.

As author of Playing with the Enemy, Gary tells the story of his father, Gene Moore and his remarkable life in baseball and war. Playing with the Enemy is inspiring readers around the globe and will soon be a major motion picture. Gary is also a contributing author to the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series and author of three upcoming books, Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddy Holly, My New Buddy John and My Lost Decade of Music, Brimstone: The Dee Harper Story, and Carbon Hill.

Gary has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power Magazine, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, Impromptu Magazine, and Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine, and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox.

Gary is a recipient of the prestigious Sam Walton Leadership Award and because of his unique speaking and writing style, has become known as "America's Storyteller!"TM Back to top

Book Discussions & Guide

Listing of Book Discussions

Feb. 2: Book Club Discussion; 10 a.m. at the Freeport Public Library.

Feb. 13: Book Club Discussion; 4 p.m. at Prince of Peace.

Feb. 17: About a Book (JS) Book Club Discussion; 7 p.m. at the Journal Standard Building.

Feb. 21: HCC Book Club Discussion; 8:30 a.m. at the HCC Conference Center in Room H210.

Feb. 22: Lincoln Towers Book Discussion; 1 p.m. at Lincoln Towers.

Feb. 23: Readers Inc. Book Club Discussion; Noon at the Freeport Public Library.

Feb. 24: Parkview Book Discussion; 2 p.m. at Parkview Home.

Feb. 28: Book Club Discussion; 7 p.m. at the United Presbyterian Church.

Questions for your Book Discussions

  1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
  2. What similarities did you find between Sesser, Illinois and Freeport?
  3. What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the book? What do you think the author is trying to get across to the reader?
  4. Do any of the people in Playing with the Enemy remind you of yourself or someone you know? Do you find yourself relating personally to any of the people?
  5. At what point in the story do you feel Gene lost his innocence?
  6. Who was Gene's "Guardian Angel" and why?
  7. What are the differences between Gene before Camp Ruston and after Camp Ruston?
  8. How would you describe the relationship between Ray and Gene?
  9. What did you find surprising about this story?
  10. Do you believe Gene ever fully accepted his life without baseball?
  11. Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?
  12. Has reading Playing with the Enemy increased your interest in baseball? World War II? Small town America?
  13. Did reading Playing with the Enemy lead you to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
  14. Will you recommend Playing with the Enemy to others and why?
  15. Is there a difference between the western German naval POWs of WWII and the Islamo-Fascist POWs today?
  16. Why do you think many readers claim that Playing with the Enemy transcends baseball and military history?
  17. Does Gene remind you of anyone from Freeport, someone the entire town believed in and supported like that?
  18. If you were in Gene's shoes guarding the German crewmen from the U-505 submarine, what would you have done?
  19. If you were one of the soldiers in Gene's unit guarding the German crewmen, what would you think of Gene's idea?
  20. What are some of the differences between major league baseball in the 1940s and even 1950s, and today?
  21. As a son or daughter, how would you have felt if you were in Gary's shoes, finding out about your father's history so late in life?
  22. Does this remind you of a similar book that you have read?
  23. Do you have a suggestion for the next One Book, One Freeport selection?

> Download the Discussion Guide Back to top

Sponsors & Partnering Agencies

Freeport Public Library Illinois Humanities Council Freeport Art Museum The Journal-Standard FSD145 - Freeport School District Stephenson County Historical Society Barnes & Noble Freeport Community Foundation Highland Community College Back to top

Teen Creative Arts Competition Rules and Information
  1. Competition is open to all teens ages 13-19.
  2. Contest will have 5 categories:
  3. Submissions will be accepted Tuesday, February 1 through 6:00 PM on Wednesday, February 9 at the Youth Services desk. Winners will be announced on Monday, February 14.
  4. Only one entry per person per category.
  5. Entries must pertain to the Community Read Program. This includes the subjects/topics presented in either of the titles Playing with the Enemy or Under the Blood-Red Sun, as well as any speakers/presentations and the general theme of One Book, One Freeport.
  6. Submissions without an official entry form will be disqualified. Entry forms are available online or at the Youth Services desk.
  7. Entries will be subject to a blind judging. Author/Artist name should NOT appear on entries. Each submission will be assigned a judging code.
  8. Judges reserve the right to disqualify submissions based on content, subject, and/or plagiarism. All submissions must be original.
  9. All judges' decisions are final.
  10. All entries will be displayed in the library for the duration of the Community Read Program.

Short Story and Poetry/Lyrics Submission Guidelines

Art Work Submission Guidelines

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About Us

The "One Book" movement began in 1998 when Nancy Pearl, executive director of the Washington Center for the Book in the Seattle Public Library, initiated "If All Seattle Read the Same Book." With funding from the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund and several local sponsors, she invited members of the public to read the novel "The Sweet Hereafter" by Russell Banks, and brought the author to Seattle for three days in December to discuss his book in a series of free public programs.

The mission of the program at the Freeport Public Library is to encourage a shared reading experience, foster a sense of community and promote literacy to people of all ethnic backgrounds, economic levels and ages. Based on similar programs in communities across the country, One Book, One Freeport provides free copies of a selected book and coordinates educational programs and events to explore topics related to the book.

For more information, comments or suggestions about One Book, One Freeport, please contact:

Pat Vorwald
Head of Adult Services
Freeport Public Library
100 E. Douglas Street
Freeport, IL 61032
815-233-3000 x221
815-297-8236 fax Back to top

For the Media

12/28/2010: One Book, One Freeport: Free books and programs for the community Back to top