Werewolves, Werelions and even Wereboars will soon make their way to Montgomery County, as Wereworld Series author Curtis Jobling pays a visit to local libraries, schools and the Towne Book Center in Collegeville.
“The idea is to help create readers for life,” Kit Little, Towne Book Center marketing director, said. “It’s a unique experience.”
According to the Wereworld series website, Jobling has created a fantastic world filled with shape-shifting people, one of whom is a teen werewolf, who finds himself involved in a struggle to regain his homeland from a tyrant werelion king.
Published by Viking Children’s Book, a division of Penguin Books, the Wereworld series contains four books, with its latest release, “Wereworld: Nest of Serpants," taking place Jan. 15.
While Jobling may best be known for being the designer of the celebrated children’s TV show “Bob the Builder,” the Wereworld series is designed for an older reading audience, youth ages 10 and older, as its Fantasy and Horror genre topics may be better understood by older youth.
Hosting an International Author
According to Little, Jobling’s publisher contacted Towne Book Center with the opportunity to host the author, as he travels from his home in Cheshire, Engalnd, to promote his latest work stateside.
Little said that the bookstore frequently hosts several international, national and particularly local celebrities and authors at its Collegeville store location.
However, Little said that the Towne Book Center has recently furthered its efforts to promote youth reading by reaching out to local libraries and schools, and helping them coordinate author visits. The Towne Book Center has also provided the libraries with copies of Jobling’s latest book to purchase prior or after his visit.
“My whole goal is to be a part of the community,” Little said.
Jobling will appear at the following places during his visit to Montgomery County:
- Jan. 20 – Towne Book Center, located in the Providence Town Center, at noon.
- Jan. 21 (MLK Day) – Norristown Public Library at 11 a.m.
- Lower Providence Community Library – 1 p.m
- Wissahickon Valley Public Library in Blue Bell – 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 – Perkiomen Valley Middle School East and Pottsgrove Middle School.
Meeting an Author
“This is exciting,” Sadrah Moles, Lower Providence Children and Teen librarian, said.
Moles, who has held her position at the library for the last five years, said this is the first time the library has hosted an international author, although it does host several local authors each year.
Moles said it is difficult for libraries to book famous authors, due to budgetary restraints. She added that famous-author visits could draw hundreds to the library, especially when it comes to authors of youth series.
“Young people like the series thing,” Moles said. “It’s continuous enjoyment.”
She said that the most important aspect of teen literature is the relatability to its characters, whether the genre be fantasy or historical fiction.
“They can relate to problems, whether they are talking about a mutant or animal, they can still identify with them,” Moles said.
In addition to being able to ask direct questions about the story to the author, Moles pointed out that readers also have the opportunity to learn more about the publishing business and a possible career, from the writing process to the design of a book cover.
“It’s inspiring to know they have a dream in which they can succeed,” Moles said.
Just as the Towne Book Center dedicates over 800-square-feet to youth literature, Moles said that the Lower Providence and other libraries have a strong emphasis on youth-oriented books and programs.
She said that many of the teenaged youth patrons at the Lower Providence Library have attended library programs as young children with their parents.
Moles said that in order to connect with teenaged youth that may not be as familiar, libraries must change with the times, and include more electronic resources at the library or reach out through social media. However, Moles added that having a popular author visit will always be a big draw.
“It helps get kids to the library,” Moles said. “Once they’re here, they realize that we are a wonderful, free, support network for them.”