An Evening at the Library

Last night I spent the evening at the library but didn’t look at one book. I was there for another reason. It all began with the newspaper on Monday. . .

On Monday, our local paper is usually rather skimpy. I guess all their effort goes into Sunday’s paper, so there is less paper and news on Monday. Usually I skim through reading a bit here and there, but not doing any deep reading.

However this past Monday I glanced at this page and my heart beat a little quicker. Can you see why? No, it’s not about women postmasters.

If you didn’t spot it in the previous picture, I’ll zoom in for you.

Now do you see the one word that quickened my heart? Author!

Then I calmed down and figured it was some author I’ve never read. But I did have memories of going to hear Kevin Henkes a couple of years ago. I read on, my heart beat a little faster. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley? Oh be still my heart! I loved The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won. If at all possible, I was going!

I arrived at the library thirty minutes before the talk was to begin. They were selling her books outside the room. I resisted the temptation to buy a book. The room filled quickly, mostly students clutching one or more books. Watching the students made me smile.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley talked about her research and decisions she made as she wrote the book (for example: Ada’s disability, location in England). It took about four years to write each book about Ada. It was interesting to learn that she

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley reads from The War That Saved My Life.

rarely gives her books titles. The working title for The War That Saved My Life was Kim’s New Book That Needs a Title. However, she did select the title for The War I Finally Won. She was explaining the book to her daughter and that was the best way to describe the book. That book had nine drafts because she kept rewriting the character Ruth, so she had to move things around as Ruth became more and more interesting to her. Ruth may be a character she develops more in another book.¬†Another interesting tidbit that came out in the discussion was Patricia MacLachlan was Kimberly’s¬† professor in college.

The evening ended with a long line of students and adults waiting for their copies to be signed. I walked past them thinking of the memory they just made listening to an author talk about writing and wondered if one of them might be a Newbery or Caldecott winner someday.