NY Times Bestselling Author Comes To Clayton Thursday

A New York Times best-selling author and illustrator is making a special visit to Clayton on Thursday.

Grace Lin has won the two most prestigious awards in the children’s literature…the Newbery and Caldecott awards. Her book, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” has been lauded as the Chinese ‘Wizard of Oz.’ Growing up in upstate New York, Lin and her sisters were the only Asian children at their entire school and she says hardly any books showed anyone who looked like her. Now she lectures about the importance of children seeing themselves in the books they read, but also having books that show them other’s children’s experiences. Thanks to a national grant, Clayton’s Library has been able to bring Lin for full day of events with school children, families and a lecture at 6 p.m. on Thursday at The Clayton Center in downtown Clayton. The public is welcome to come to this free event with registration at ClaytonLibraryNC.org.

Never before has Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library been able to welcome a nationally-known author! In addition to the Newbery and Caldecott awards, She’s also a National Book Award Finalist, a Geisel Award-winner and was recognized by President Barack Obama’s as a Champion of Change for Asian and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling. Her acclaimed Ted Talk, “Windows and Mirrors on Your Child’s Bookshelf,” is a powerful look at the importance of making children feel included in the books they read, but also allowing them a window a worlds and people that are different from them.

Lin will spend the entire day with us in Clayton on Thursday – visiting with local students during the day and then hosting an event at with families and children 3 p.m. at The Clayton Center, a Meet & Greet from 5-6 p.m. in the lobby and then offering a special presentation from 6-7 p.m. on the stage of The Clayton Center auditorium.

This special free visit is all thanks to our Children’s Librarian Laura McGuire, who received the 2019 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award from the Association of Library Services for Children, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Clayton’s Library was awarded this grant in part because Clayton is tying Grace Lin’s talk about diversity in children’s books to the town’s 150th anniversary. As Clayton grows and becomes more diverse, the community is working to maintain the town’s warm and inviting atmosphere so that they can welcome ALL who enter. Lin will be talking about her mission to make kids feel included in the books they read.

“It’s so important for us as a community to keep this in mind as we plan programs, events, collections, and even building projects in Clayton,” said Clayton Library Director Joy Garretson. “We want everyone to feel included in our town, and this special visit from Grace Lin is a great way to help us think about helping our kids see themselves reflected in our community.”

Clayton is proud to offer this wonderful opportunity to present a nationally-lauded author and illustrator at NO cost and the hope is to fill the historic auditorium of The Clayton Center.