BY KRISTIN MILLER
Award-winning author Candace Fleming will be visiting MSUM as a part of the grand opening events for the Livingston Lord Library.
Fleming is set to visit on Sept. 30, which will cap off the schedule of events for the library. During her visit to campus, she will be giving a presentation entitled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bookshelf.” The talk will address her journey as an author, both the high points and the low.
“We’ll be having a Q&A, and she’ll also be doing a book signing,” said Pam Werre, curriculum materials center librarian at Livingston Lord Library.
“We thought it would be a nice way to celebrate both events,” Werre said.
She added that anyone who wants to read some of Fleming’s works can stop by ahead of time and check one out from the library.
A prolific author, in her biography Fleming describes a life-long love of writing.
“I have always been a good storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale,” she writes.
Her books include selections from a wide range of genres and age groups. These include biographies, novels, picture books and historical picture books aimed at kids.
“She is very excited to come here, “ Werre said.
And library staff members are just as excited for the visit.
Fleming is the 2014 winner of the Comstock Read Aloud Book Award for her book “Papa’s Mechanical Fish.”
“There’s so much humor in this story,” Werre said.
She added that unique and colorful illustrations helped capture the attention of children, leading to the decision the committee made to give the award to this book.
The award program is run through MSUM, with the aid of current students.
“At MSUM we’re really unique to have a program like this,” Werre said.
The award, part of the Comstock Reading Aloud Initiative, supports the idea that it’s still important to read aloud to children, especially in an increasingly digital society.
Books which pass an initial committee are placed in the hands of students from the School of Teaching and Learning, local teachers and librarians, who do readings with elementary students. Books that get the best response from the kids through an engaging story, imaginative images and an overall memorable experience are selected as annual winners.
The award also stands out among the numerous annual book honors awarded nationally.
“This was a little niche that didn’t really have any awards,” Werre explained.
Another of Fleming’s works, “Oh No!” was previously chosen as an honor book for the Wanda Gág Book Award, taking home the honor in 2012.
“She’s the only one who has won both awards,” Werre said.
As a part of her visit to the area, Fleming will be visiting local schools to do readings for students, as well as visiting a creative writing class on campus to give some advice to other aspiring authors.
“She really has a wide range of talent,” Werre said.
More information about the library’s grand opening can be found on MSUM’s website, or on the library’s Facebook page.