It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
The art of storytelling is not inborn in everyone. Even those with skills in metaphor and well-timed punch lines have to start somewhere. Dream Big- The Story Behind the Storyteller is a presentation by author Bruce Hale about his journey from a child without an appreciation for reading to the writer of over 25 books.
Aside from writing stories like "The Chet Gecko Mysteries” and the "Underwhere Series," Hale spends a lot of time traveling the country speaking with young readers about what sparked his passion for reading, and just how exciting reading can be when you find the right book.
“The series that got me reading was not a children’s book series at all, it was adult pulp fiction. What got me reading was Tarzan of the Apes. When I look back at it today, and try to read the books, I’m just amazed that I struggled through them as a third grader. I had Tarzan in one hand and the dictionary in the other. The stories were strong enough to pull me through. I think that’s what its about, guiding kids toward a story that they can really connect with.”
Hale openly admits to being a rambunctious child, so connecting with Tarzan isn’t a far stretch. But he may not have ever made that connection if it had not been for what most kids these days would consider a tragedy of the most epic proportions.
“I didn’t see the value in books until our TV died, and when that happened our parents refused to get a new TV for a while. They started reading books to us, and it really opened my eyes to a new world. I realized that what it takes to make a reader is the right book. Since I became an author, I’m really passionate about helping kids find that right book for them, so they can have the same experience that I did, and experience the joys of using their imagination and reading and encountering great stories.”
Hale seeks to impress upon his generally young audience the importance of practice, passion, and persistence. He says that 12 different publishers turned down “The Chet Gecko Mysteries,” before ultimately one agreed to publish it. He says it's not enough just to dream big; children must have the confidence to pursue their dreams.
For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.
Hale will be at The Library Center at 4653 S. Campbell, Thursday April 12th at 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. You can find more information on the Library’s 2012 Big Read celebration at http://thelibrary.org/bigread/.