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.

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19 thoughts on “An Evening at the Library

  1. Now that’s exciting. I love stories like this and how fitting for the today’s date. I’ve seen that book around too and it’s always so cool to put a face with the author’s name; to add a new layer of context for their writing. The backstories, the families, the influences that may come as a surprise. This was a fun one. And as always I love how your photos punctation the slice here.

  2. Getting to meet a real live author and hear him/her speak and sometimes even read from their work is a very special experience. I’m lucky to live in a town that has a book store where that happens quite often. So glad you had such a nice experience, so close to home.

  3. Alice Nine says:

    What a grand evening, Elsie! On the writing side of this slice, you did a fabulous job with your introduction, “tricking” us with that newspaper photo.

  4. Terje says:

    Library is so much more than a place for borrowing books. Author talks happen. We have also art exhibitions and concerts. You made me curious about the book.

  5. What a great opportunity for you and all who attended her talk. It is always inspiring to hear an author talk about the process s/he goes through when writing a book.

  6. I felt like I was in the library with you, Elsie. I learned so much from your post. I have to add her books to my list of “Must Read” today. What a great way to spend an evening! I wrote a book review too – mine about Brave Clara Barton by Frank Murphy – just published. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Kae says:

    Even though I couldn’t make it last night, your description made me feel as though I, too, heard her story of writing these great stories. The photos accompanying your blog contributed to my “experience!”

  8. Judy C. says:

    A wonderful way to spend an evening. I always wonder where the authors get their ideas and how it all comes about. What a great way to create new writers and readers. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow! What an unexpected gift and a wonderful way to spend an evening. Sometimes once I am home, I have a tendency to stay home. This would have been worth it to go back out again!

  10. Oh, wow! She was definitely worth getting out of the house to hear. I always love hearing the back story of a book. Thank you for sharing it. I love that there were kids there to listen to her speak. That makes my heart smile.

  11. What a great way to spend the evening! I have seen that book everywhere. I will add it to my list. Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate the photos you included. I need to try to add some to my slices. 🙂

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