Library hosts meet the author series for March is Reading Month

By: Jonathan Shead | Troy Times | Published February 27, 2021

 Korman

Korman

 Dipucchio

Dipucchio

 Kelkar

Kelkar

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TROY — March is Reading Month programming will go virtual this year for the Troy Public Library. The library will host a meet the author series via Zoom.

With COVID-19 still prevalent, Library Head of Youth Services Keegan Sulecki opted to keep things virtual, but she still wanted to provide an opportunity for students to learn and connect through books.

“I still want our students to feel like the library is an important place and (a) place for them to connect to reading and books in an exciting way,” she said, adding that prior to the pandemic, full classes came in for reading programming during March. “I wanted something special to still happen in March.”

The Kids Meet the Author series will feature authors Gordon Korman, Kelly DiPucchio and Supriya Kelkar.

Korman is an award-winning author of more than 80 books, including his New York Times bestsellers “The 39 Clues: One False Note,” “Restart,” and “Unteachables.” His session, March 2, will be open to students in grades three and above. Students will learn about researching, brainstorming, and how to develop characters and humor in books.

“He’s a really powerful speaker. He started writing when he was very young, so I think he can be a very impactful speaker for some of our students,” Sulecki said.

DiPucchio, an award-winning Michigan-based author, will share writing tips, talk about famous dogs in books and movies, and read her book “Gaston” during her session March 10. DiPucchio’s session is intended for early elementary-age students.

“Being a part of the meet the author series is especially meaningful to me this year because most of my March is Reading Month events were cancelled in 2020. I really missed connecting with readers last year!” DiPucchio said in an email. “I hope to inspire young readers, writers and thinkers to see books as a pathway to accessing their own unique voices.”

The series’ final author, Kelkar, will host a session for students in grades five and above March 30 to talk about her experience writing as she grew up and to share writing tips during a writing workshop. Kelkar is an award-winning Michigan-based author with featured titles such as “Ahimsa,” “Strong as Fire,” “Fierce as Flame” and more.

“As someone who grew up never seeing Indian American characters in American books, TV shows, and movies, and thus never wrote stories featuring characters who looked like me until decades later, I hope students leave the virtual visit knowing just how important their story is and feel empowered and inspired to write it,” Kelkar said in an email.

Sulecki hopes families will tune in to help their students create a positive lifelong connection with literacy.

“I think this is an excellent way of building reading and literacy as a lifelong passion. It makes it special,” she said. “When you tell kids to sit down and read, it’s work, a lot of the time. If it’s something that can become an enjoyable activity, that you enjoy together in a social sense, that’s a way to ignite some passion for reading into a child that’s going to last them their whole lives, in a way that setting a timer and making them sit and read for 15 minutes a day is not going to do that.”

Overall, Sulecki hopes the students who participate see just what they’re capable of creating. Korman hopes he can be an example for them.

“More than 40 years ago, I wrote my first book for a seventh grade English assignment. It was published two years later, when I was a freshman in high school. So when I meet the aspiring young writers of Troy, I hope they see me not as a long-time veteran, but as a much older version of the aspiring writer I used to be when I started that project that changed my life,” Korman wrote in an email.

“Writers are not something different than me or even them. It’s something that’s within their reach to do and express themselves,” Sulecki said of the students. “I think it would be really great if they could see that as something not only they are capable of doing, but also something that is fun.”

Registration is required for the Kids Meet the Author series. Interested students can register at troypl.org/calendar. Copies of the three authors’ books can be found in the library’s digital catalog.

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