Story and photos provided by Stillwater Public Library
Local author Alton Carter will present his newest book, “The Boy Who Went to the Library,” during an after-school event at the Stillwater Public Library on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 3:30-5 p.m. Carter gained regional recognition with his first book, “The Boy Who Carried Bricks,” which told the story of his family and upbringing in the foster care system.
Carter’s newest project is a children’s rhyming picture book that shows the wonder a child experiences while visiting the library. Illustrator, Janelda Lane included imagery from the Stillwater Public Library in depicting the way children see the world when they have access to books.
“We were so pleased to see our community library in the pages of Alton’s new book,” said Melody Kellogg, library director. “I had a chance to review the book before it published. I love the message it presents and think children and parents will enjoy reading it together.”
Carter intended the story to represent the opportunities that libraries can provide.
“Libraries are the perfect place for children to learn about things and places they may never see,” said Carter. “Books are a perfect tool to inspire hopes and dreams while also creating career paths.”
Like those of many other children, Carter’s boyhood experiences with reading sometimes came with struggle.
“Looking back on my childhood, I missed out and regret that I did not have the opportunity to spend my evenings reading and looking through books,” said Carter. “I spent most of my childhood in classes for students who were behind in reading. As a child, reading was not a positive experience, so I would avoid reading by purposely acting out in order to get sent into the hallway.”
Carter hopes to encourage other children to take advantage of the reading opportunities that he did not have.
“If students do not like the books they are reading in schools, having a public library card provides a child the opportunity to choose a book to their liking,” said Carter. “Having a library card is also something they can be proud of, as I remember how excited all 5 of my children were when they received their first library card. And now they insist on handing the librarian their card when checking out books.”
Carter has now authored four books, and “The Boy Who Went to the Library” is his second picture book. His other books, including his first picture book, “The Boy Who Dreamed Big,” are available to check out at the library.
The author event will include a reading of “The Boy Who Went to the Library,” followed by a book signing and craft project. A book-loving therapy dog will also be on hand, so that children can practice reading.
Besides hoping to inspire children to read, Carter wants this event to encourage children to pursue their own dreams
“I hope when children meet me they can see that anything is possible regardless of where you come from,” said Carter.
Copies of the “The Boy Who Went to the Library” will be available for purchase for $20 each. Payments may be made with cash. Copies may also be purchased online through MonoclePress at http://www.monoclepress.com/m/detail/alton-carter.
Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).