November is National Family Literacy Month. Many libraries and schools across Missouri are observing this with events and learning opportunities. I kicked off the month by attending the St. Louis Indie Book Fair where I met several Missouri-based children’s authors.
It’s important adults encourage children to read every day, not just when a calendar instructs us to do so. And by introducing children to a local author, I think that shows a child the goal of publishing is within reach for those who have a talent and desire to do so. While your child may enjoy reading classic books by Beverly Cleary (now 102 years old), it’s a good chance they will not meet her.
Local authors are not only accessible to libraries and schools, every one of them I’ve met search for opportunities to speak to young readers to share their talents. Yes, authors hope to sell copies of their book, but it is much more than a marketing strategy. Many kidlit authors — myself included — are parents, so they know the importance of encouraging kids to read. Writing also can be a solitary occupation, so getting out into the community is critical for an author to interact with his/her audience; this often provides important feedback for the author, who then might apply that information to the next project.
And, perhaps most importantly, we come back to the original point: Supporting local authors connects children to published writers, thus encouraging creativity within that child.
You’ve (happily) found Show•Me Adventure Kids books, but allow me to do brief introductions to a few Missouri-based children’s authors.
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Author Deborah Reinhardt and guests share the best travel ideas and family living tips for Midwestern families.