Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

Author Adrian Fogelin stops by There’s A Book today as part of our month long celebration of all things Peachtree Publishers! She’s talking a bit about her fantastic “Front Porch Library” and how it all began. Take a look!

I’m a Peachtree author, and I begin building all my stories with what I know best, my neighborhood and the kids who live in it. Seminole Manor neighborhood is a collection of small stucco cottages shaded by grandfather oaks on the south side of Tallahassee, Florida. This is not an affluent community. Some of my neighbors contribute to the swollen unemployment rate, but this is a good place to be in tough times. We know and help each other.

Maybe it’s because the houses are so small, but kids are always outside. They ride bikes, draw on the road with chalk, and they visit a library that is just for them. It’s called The Front Porch Library, and the porch is mine. Lending them my porch seemed only fair. They provide the inspiration for my characters—and I provide them with a gathering spot and a large selection of books—at last count our library had over 1,400 volumes. I say “our” because this is a community effort.

The library began with one girl, a first grader named Kelsay who lived across the street from me. Kelsay loved to read. I lent her books from my own collection and then began checking out books for her at the public library. Soon I had picked up a second family and—it snowballed. For one summer I was the local book mobile. Each family had a canvas bag I would fill. One day when I drove up the kids mobbed my car yelling, “Books! Books!” I was thrilled.

My plans got more ambitious—and I was tired of saying, “Look under your bed. You still have Magic Treehouse number twelve.” I began building a collection that would belong to the neighborhood. Books came from everywhere: my wonderful publisher, church groups, other authors, kids passing along books they had outgrown—and The Front Porch Library was born. It has been the work of the whole neighborhood to catalog and mark books, create programs, and faithfully open the library doors. The Front Porch Library celebrated its first official birthday in June with a Pajama-Read-A-Thon.

Many of the neighborhood kids need help with reading so I have a door knock policy. If a kid wants a book or to read aloud to an adult or even just talk, they can knock on my door (or window—I usually look up from my computer and discover a face peering back at me). But just as pressing as the need to improve reading skill is the need for exposure to a broad range of experiences. Some of our library kids have never been to the public library. One girl didn’t even know such a place existed. Many have never been to the natural history museum a mile away. We are open every Sunday afternoon. Most popular are the cupcakes (by the time I die I will hold the cupcake baking record for this particular galaxy) but the programs are popular too.

At our library we sew, cook, play games, identify trees, draw, do reader’s theater, discuss fossils…and now we’ve made a video to encourage reading. The music was written by my singing partner, Craig Reeder (the other half of Hot Tamale). My husband, Ray Faass, shot many of the stills. The kids brainstormed, dressed their dogs and practiced bike tricks. “Take a Look” is a neighborhood effort. It features kids who rarely get a chance to be the stars and the creators of something big. So, take a look!

Thank you so much, Adrian, for stopping by today! I love  The Front Porch library and the incredible impact it’s obviously having on your community!

Please make sure to take a look at Adrian Fogelin’s release, The Sorta Sisters, available now!

Today’s review is part of our month long celebration of Peachtree Publishers for our monthly feature “Book Publishers 101“. Make sure to stop by the Peachtree Publishers Site for more information about this title and more. For more information about our Book Publishers 101 feature take a look at this month’s opening post.

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7 Responses to Book Publishers 101: Peachtree Author Adrian Fogelin

  1. Erin says:

    I LOVE Adrian. Her books are great and she is such a wonderful author to work with. As you can see from her post, she is simply amazing.

  2. RivkaBelle says:

    This is the coolest idea. Ever. Ever! :D

  3. KimHB says:

    @the1stdaughter from @1stLadey I read Ur blog& it’s so inspiring. I hope 2have the space& time 2do the same thing 4our neighborhood 1day #FrontPorchLibrary

  4. Gina says:

    What a wonderful post and a truly wonderful idea! I love how the ideas for her books come from what she knows best…and sharing the love of reading with others in any fashion is always a joy so a front porch library for the community, truly inspiring. Thanks for the great post ladies!

  5. I live in Tally these days. Your neighborhood sounds awesome!

  6. Cathe Olson says:

    What a wonderful story!

  7. […] machines, making maps or eating cake The Front Porch Library is the place for you. (For more about Adrian’s Front Porch Library check out this guest post she did for us last […]

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