On Main Street, right smack in the heart of Malden Square, sat our town library. As a child, I was a frequent flier, visiting right after school and on weekends. I loved the smell of wood and glue and paper almost as much as I loved the books. On the shelves sat my escape, adventure, a universe of possibility, all at my fingertips. As I presented my library card and the librarian stamped the return dates on each of my selections, I reveled in each loud thunk. The date was just a formality for me. I devoured each book so quickly, they were returned well before the due date.
The library was where I discovered Pippi Longstocking, Judy Blume and Laura Ingalls Wilder. And it was the stories of these girls that taught me about independence and fortitude and inspired me to be stronger and fight for what I believe. As a teenager, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye taught me about courage in the face of adversity. It was in my small town library where I discovered worlds well beyond its reaches and unearthed some of life’s most valuable lessons.
I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.—Author, Barbara Kingsolver
Lesa Cline-Ransome is one of the many authors and illustrators that will be present at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival. She is the author of many picture books for children including Satchel Paige, Young Pele, Soccer’s First Star, Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist, Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglas, Light in the Darkness, and Before There was Mozart, an NAACP image award nominee. Her newest book, Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History was released this spring. Many of her books are in collaboration with her husband, and award winning Illustrator, James Ransome (Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Uncle Jed’s Barbershop and This is the Rope). They live in Rhinebeck, New York with their four children and St. Bernard, Nola. Visit her website at www.lesaclineransome.com and Writerhood blog at lclineransome.wordpress.com
Meet Lesa at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, May 3rd at the Hudson Junior and Senior High Schools on 235 Harry Howard Avenue. And don’t forget to visit the tables for the Library and the Friends of the Library!