The Sewickley Area Libraries, a collaborative support network for school and public librarians serving the Sewickley region, will be hosting author Jasmine Warga Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10.
Warga is a Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of middle and young adult novels: Other Words for Home, The Shape of Thunder, A Rover’s Story, My Heart and Other Black Holes, Hear We are Now; earning additional awards including, a Walter Honor for Young Readers and a Charlotte Huck Honor. During her author visit in Sewickley, she will speak with young readers and writers to talk about the power of stories, publishing, encouraging all students to find and use their voices.
“We were aware that Jasmine's books had been chosen for many awards, Newberry Honor as the most recognizable, and thought her school visit would be appealing and interesting for students and teachers who would like to learn more about her books and writing experience,” said Quaker Valley High School librarian Richard Hollein. “With Warga, we saw she could reach students in upper elementary, middle and high school.”
Schuyler Kidd, an eighth grade English Language Arts teacher at Quaker Valley Middle School, has worked with her students in the ProjectLIT group to build excitement for Warga’s visit: “It's always exciting to have a current YA author visit the school. Allowing students to interact, question, and learn from a professional writer is an experience that can't be matched! Our ProjectLIT group, which has met monthly since 2020, is currently reading a few of her novels in order to prepare for Ms. Warga's visit.”
Warga will visit Edgeworth and Osborne Elementary, St. James School, Quaker Valley Middle and High School, and Sewickley Academy Senior and Middle schools. In addition to her school visits, Penguin Bookshop will provide the author’s books for sale and hold a book signing event on Thursday, March 9 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
“Over the years, the Quaker Valley Libraries have been able to partner with other libraries in Sewickley as well as the Penguin Bookshop in order to bring some incredible authors to our schools,” said Quaker Valley Middle School Library Media Specialist Tom Forrest. “Obviously, we haven’t gotten to do this in the past few years, so we are so excited to bring back this tradition with such a fantastic, celebrated author. It’s an amazing opportunity for our students and community."
The Sewickley Area Libraries’ mission statement explains that they are “A collaborative network of local librarians and booksellers, SAL strives to enrich our professional lives, schools, and community through programming, professional development, and bringing people together to support literacy, create knowledge and the sharing of ideas.”
Hollein built upon this idea, sharing, “Our groups of libraries (librarians) have been around since the mid 1990's and have been meeting monthly to share ideas and resources, including bringing many authors/illustrators over the years to our community. As we are past the pandemic, we talked more about in-school author visits, bringing literacy connections to our students and community. We explore many different authors in our discussions as we are always looking for someone to appeal to multiple grade levels, though sometimes we are not able to accomplish it.”
Through the resources and expertise of its members, the Sewickley Area Libraries advocates for literacy and ongoing learning in school and community programs.