McNick library hosts author for online book discussion

On Thursday, April 24, the McNick library welcomed author Deborah Wiles to an online book discussion held through Zoom.

During the discussion, Wiles discussed her books, as well as her experiences as a writer, and students were able to ask questions.  Wiles answered questions about her life, her writing, her decisions to include primary sources in her books, and what she hopes readers take away.

“The world is a patchwork of many different people and many different viewpoints, and all deserve to be heard,” Wiles said about lessons that can be learned from her books.  She also mentioned that she hopes readers see her new book, Kent State, a fictional book around the 1970 shooting at the Ohio school by the same name, as “a call to action,” to live and stand by their ideals.

Wiles was originally scheduled to visit McNick in person as part of a tour to promote her new book.  Several McNick English students had the option of reading one of her books, Revolution for their class.  Revolution is the second book in a trilogy that takes readers through various times throughout the 1960s, and it focuses on the Civil Rights Movement, and more specifically, on “Freedom Summer.”

Librarian Chelsea Almer arranged this through Joseph-Beth booksellers.  The students and faculty were sent the link to attend if they chose, and there were also several other school librarians present at the discussion.  Almer hopes that this will not be the last time that students are able to meet with authors online.

“[An online meeting] opens up a lot of possibilities for us to meet with people who aren’t local,” Almer said.  It also allowed for students who weren’t in classes that would have seen her in person to participate in the discussion.

“I hope that [students] got out of it just this idea that authors are not unrelatable…we’re all connected, and reading is a way for us to realize that,” Almer said.

Thumbnail image, and more information about Wiles and her books can be found here.

Wiles’ most recent book is Kent State, which was released Tuesday, April 21.  Kent State is told from multiple perspectives, and focuses on the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970. Photo can be found here.

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