The Missourian will join newspapers across the state in the 2013 Reading Across Missouri project by publishing the eight-chapter serialized story, "Manny Kicks Long Ear Lore," in January.

A companion activity guide for educators is now available to download here. The guide is correlated to the Common Core Standards.

"Manny Kicks Long Ear Lore" was written by Missourian columnist, book editor and children's book author Chris Stuckenschneider. A story about the author and project will be published in the Jan. 5/6 issue of The Missourian and the story will begin in the Jan. 12/13 issue.

In the story, Manny seeks to set the record straight on misconceptions about mules. The hybrid breed -- Missouri's state animal -- has made significant contributions throughout American history.