Linda Joy Singleton Library Love
Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Author Linda Joy Singleton is stopping by to share her books and her Library Love with us. Take it away Linda!
I grew up in a quiet suburb of Sacramento, CA where neighborhood kids all knew each other and bike riding was the favorite mode of transportation. My closest library was the one at school, and when I was curious about a topic, that’s where I would go. I remember flipping through the index card files for an author or title; the world of words at my fingertips.
I was lucky to have parents who loved buying books for me. I remember getting the book Club order form and excitedly checking off the books I wanted to read like The Ghostly Trio, Big Red, Doctor Doolittle, Mystery at Moonlight, Baby Island and Harriet the Spy. Reading wasn’t enough for me so around age 8 I started writing my own stories about animals and mysteries. I kept many of these stories like Tabe the Cat and show them to kids when I speak at schools and libraries.
Roar for Libraries
Libraries are SO important. When my son was young, I became friends with a school librarian and when she found out I was an author we created a writing contest for elementary kids. These kids were mostly from a lower-income area, and some had never written their own stories. I wrote encouraging comments on every entry and chose many winners. We presented the awards in a big assembly that celebrated these young writers.
(Fairsite awards photo with author Verla Kay)
Afterward, every kid who entered was invited to a reception to meet me and other authors. Unfortunately, this contest ended when the recession hit and local librarians were laid off. Not only did kids lose this fun contest but they no longer had librarians to lead them to a life-long love of reading. Fortunately, the economy has improved, and my librarian friends are working again. Last year I spoke at several libraries that had chosen my Curious Cat Spy Club series for their kid book clubs.
Library Love When You Were a Cub
As a child, I loved mysteries like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden and Judy Bolton so much that my home bookshelf started to look like a library bookcase. I even wrote to my favorite author, Margaret Sutton, which led to a long friendship. When I’d rave about these books to my friends, they’d want to read them, too, so I loaned them my books. I remember tucking an index card in the back of a book so my friends could write down their names when they “checked out” books—as if I was a “librarian” to my friends.
More library Love
I’ve been speaking at libraries for several decades, creating activities, crafts, and games to entertain and educate young readers. For my picture book Snow Dog, Sand Dog. I bring materials for kids to make paper dog-puppets. And when I read my new book, Cash Kat, I’ll play a game of counting money.
Hooray for ALA!
I absolutely love library conferences! Last year I went to TLA and ALA—so exciting! My publisher, Albert Whitman, invited me to sign my latest CCSC title, Mystery of the Zorse’s Mask, and they even made cute little buttons with the CCSC cat logo that cranked out of a bubble gum machine
When I’m not signing books at ALA, I love exploring the booths to discover new books to read. Also, I love to talk to librarians and authors. Library conferences give me a chance to see author friends like K.A. Applegate. The next library conference I’ll attend is TLA in Houston where I’ll sign Kelsey the Spy (#3 CCSC) for Whitman, Cash Kat for Arbordale, and the ARC of a Fall YA with CBAY titled Memory Girl. I can’t wait!
Being a writer makes me part of an amazing community of book lovers. I think librarians hold a special place in this community. They don’t just shelf and check-out books, they’re publicists, caretakers and protectors of creativity—which should be a super power. Librarians are my superheroes.
I love to speak at libraries or Skype. Also, it would be cool to judge a writing contest for kids again. I’m easy to find online, and have free books and special offers for educators:
Thank you, Linda, for sharing your Library Love with us!
Thank you for this interview! I’d be happy to send the first and second paperbacks of CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB to a Library Lions Roar reader.
Okay, Linda, you’re on!
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Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library, we’d love to hear about you and your library. Email Janet via the Contact page on this website to set up an interview.
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