Newbery-award-winning author and Kansas native Clare Vanderpool visited the library Tuesday, September 20. Ms. Vanderpool gave three sessions. The first two were attended by kids from area elementary and middle schools. The third session was open to the public.
Speaking to more than 660 kids, Ms. Vanderpool talked about how she found out she had won a Newbery medal for Moon over Manifest and what it was like to be a medal winner. She also spoke about her normal, everyday life before winning the award, growing up much like the kids in the crowds. Through hard work, many stumbles and dedication to her craft, Ms. Vanderpool stuck with writing until she was finally published for the first time last October. All of that hard work paid off when she became the first Kansan to win a Newbery medal!
She also talked about writing, her inspirations for Moon over Manifest and the research that goes into writing a novel. Her message was one of hope, dedication and belief in one’s self.
The kids received Ms. Vanderpool well, showing a lot of excitement before the sessions and staying quiet and attentive during the presentation. When Ms. Vanderpool asked questions, many eager hands shot up. During the question and answer period, so many kids had questions that Ms. Vanderpool couldn’t call on all of them! After the sessions enthusiastic readers waited with books in hand for Ms. Vanderpool to sign.
Ms. Vanderpool mentioned some of her favorite books. We have them at the library so check them out!
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Newbery winner in 1959)
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Newbery winner in 1961 and William Allen White winner in 1963)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Newbery winner in 1963)
As you can see, Ms. Vanderpool has some great company! We at the library heartily thank Ms. Vanderpool for making the drive from Wichita and speaking to our kids. It was great to have a famous Kansan right here in Topeka.