Nationally-acclaimed authors to speak to students Monday

Family Literacy program will host national authors at the high school

Next Monday night local children will get to hear the stories and learn about the work that goes into the books they might have read at home or in school.

Two nationally acclaimed authors of children's literature, Helen Ketteman and Ann Whitehead Nagda, will speak in the Moffat County High School Auditorium as part of the Family Literacy Author's Night.

Sponsored by the Moffat County School District and the Sagebrush Reading Council, the event is the second of three family literacy nights that will be held this year.

The first event was the Family Literacy Carnival held last fall at which several games and booths were set up to teach children that reading can be fun. More than 500 children and parents attended the event.

Janele Husband, the Moffat County elementary reading mentor who is in charge of organizing the different literacy nights, described the work produced by the two authors visiting Monday as "excellent."

Each author has received numerous awards in the area of children's literature, she said.

"The two authors will each talk for approximately 30 minutes in the auditorium," she said. "They will talk about how they came up with ideas for their books, and how an idea becomes a book."

The event is a good opportunity for students to see the "real person" behind a book.

"This will give them insight to the authors behind the stories that they read," Husband said. "It's motivating to meet real-life authors."

Ketteman is a fiction writer with thirteen picture books to her credit.

Her tall-tale stories are written for children in preschool through the fifth grade.

"It's my hope that when a child finds and reads one of my books even a reluctant reader he'll like it, he'll have fun with it, and make time to read another book. I write so that children will read," she said on her web page, "Helen's Bookshelf."

Nagda on the other hand, writes non-fictions books.

She travels around the world photographing and doing research on animals for her books.

Originally Nagda worked as a computer programmer after receiving a degree in mathematics from Bucknell University, but she became restless in her line of work.

"I worked for many years as a computer programmer, but always felt something was missing," she said in a press release. "Now that I am writing full-time, I love sharing my experiences with school children."

Nagda's most recent books draw from her interest in mathematics and animals.

"Tiger Math: Learning to Graph From a Baby Tiger," and "Chimp Math: Learning About Time From a Baby Chimpanzee" use pictures of animals to help children visualize different mathematical concepts.

Husband encourages parents and children to come hear the authors speak.

"We stress that it's a family event for parents and children," she said. "It's an excellent opportunity for kids to meet a published author."

Each child will be given one paperback book either "The Christmas Blizzard" by Ketteman, or "Tiger Math" by Nagda.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Admission for students grades preschool through sixth is $1. Adults attend for free.

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