Posted by: ktzefr | November 28, 2011

Sojourn in Kentucky with Book Folks/Friends…

I had a great time in Kentucky visiting schools, signing books, and making friends.   It was an honor to accept the Evelyn Thurman Award for Young Readers from Western Kentucky University for To Come and Go Like Magic.

At the award ceremony with Connie Foster, Interim Dean of Libraries, and Sean Kinder, Chair of the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award Committee; Photo: WKU Libraries

The luncheon ceremony was held at the Kentucky Museum on the campus of Western Kentucky University in a lovely room surrounded with Christmas trees decorated by the various clubs, fraternities, and sororities on campus.

The Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University; Photo:WKU Libraries

There was lots of yummy food and time to sign books and chat with new friends.

The school visits in Bowling Green were such fun, and the 4th and 5th graders at W.R. McNeill Elementary School were awesome!

W.R. McNeill Elementary School, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Photo:A.Fowlkes

McNeill is one of 305 schools in the nation to be honored this year as a Blue Ribbon School.  Recently McNeill’s Principal Marsha Ingram, performed as Lady Gaga (lip-synching “The Edge of Glory”) for her students; Media Specialist, Tara Griffith, spent more than three hours on the roof — in the rain!  Crazy?

Maybe.  But that’s what happens when you lose a challenge.  The 400 students at McNeill, along with several area schools, were challenged to read 100 books before Christmas for every point a local football team made in an October 14th game.   McNeill’s students read 2,250 books in three weeks time!  (Schools used Accelerated Reader to test students to make sure they really read the books.  After all, one wouldn’t want to do the Gaga routine or sit on the roof in the rain for nothing.)  What a great way to connect the love of football with academics!

Tara Griffith, Library Media Specialist, W.R. McNeill Elementary School

South Warren Middle and High School was one of the coolest schools I have ever visited, from the beautiful new hallways and classrooms to the amazing auditorium.  The students were pretty cool, too.  They asked more questions than I had time to answer.  It was good to see so many readers — and writers — in the group, and I loved the creative poster of the monarch butterflies superimposed on my pic for the podium (click on the photo to enlarge; use back arrow to return to this post).

South Warren Middle School, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Photo: Ashley Fowlkes

At South Warren Middle School with Susan Harris, South Warren's Media Specialist; Photo: Ashley Fowlkes

I stayed busy every minute —  with a reception and more book signing…

and a couple of terrific evenings — with Kristie Lowry’s book club and with Sean, Val, and Roxanne at The Bistro.  No pics of this lovely evening and the wonderful food and great conversation, but it’s one I won’t forget!  Thanks! 

I was taken hither and yon morning, noon, and night with good cheer by a number of folks.  Here I am with Ashley Fowlkes (Assistant Director of the Warren County Public Library) who spent an entire day shuttling me from one place to another and even squeezed in lunch and a visit to a couple of local art galleries.  What fun! 


Check out a review of To Come and Go Like Magic in the Bowling Green Daily News HERE.

Learn more about the exhibits and special collections at the Kentucky Museum HERE.

Lots more photos of the award luncheon HERE  and of the reception at WKU HERE.



  1. Katie, congratulations on such a wonderful honor! I so enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing all the pictures. What an unforgettable experience!!

    • Thanks, Stacy. This was my first time to western Kentucky and I really enjoyed it. It’s very different from the eastern mountains, but I still felt at home.

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