Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guest Post: Jackie Morse Kessler

Photo Credit: Michelle Rowen

Please welcome Jackie Morse Kessler to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Jackie is the author of Hunger and the recently released companion novel Rage. Both books are part of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse Series.

Jackie has a post about libraries and storytelling which I love. I'm currently taking a storytelling class, so her post really made me smile. I hope you love it!

A Love Of Stories
By Jackie Morse Kessler

When I was in elementary school, the Internet was decades away. If you said “google” to anyone, they’d probably think you were saying something dirty or maybe that you meant a “googolplex.” Back then, the library wasn’t about computers or other media. (Sadly, it also wasn’t about comic books, one of my true loves.) It was all about books, and a fabulous librarian to help you find the things you didn’t even realize you were looking for.

My librarian was amazing. When I’d get lost in the aisles (because there were so many terrific stories to steal my attention), she’d fish me out. When I needed help doing research for my Big Humongous Paper in fifth grade, she helped me figure out what sort of books I would find useful. She was the official guardian/chaperone/keep them from killing each other grown up on site when the student council met (I was the fourth grade president and the sixth grade co-president). And every year, the librarian was in charge of the schoolwide storytelling contest.

Man, I loved that contest! Speaking in public gets me horribly nervous, but storytelling? That rocked, even when I was a kid. I loved retelling fairy tales (in the third grade, I was all about Sleeping Beauty), and by the fifth grade I was all about the Brothers Grimm (“Clever Gretel” for me that year). The school year revolved around when it was time to pick a story and start preparing for the contest. I did so well with my “Clever Gretel” rendition that the librarian asked me to tell the story in front of a sixth grade class. (That was a very Big Deal to me. I was both proud and terrified!)

While my dad helped foster my love of reading, it’s safe to say that my school librarian helped spark my love of telling stories. I’m so very grateful to her. And, in retrospect, it’s probably a good thing that she didn’t have any comic books in the library, because then I never would have left. :)

Thanks for sharing Jackie! Don't forget to visit Jackie's next stop at The Neverending Shelf.

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