If you go
What: "The Hero is Every Child," a book talk and signing by author T.A. Barron
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library
Bookstore events this month:
- June 19 at Epilogue Book Co.: Book signing and slideshow presentation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mark Obmascik. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Call 879-2665.
- June 25 at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore: Book talk and signing with Kaya McLaren, author of "On the Divinity of Second Chance." McLaren was on IndieBound's list of its top 20 new books in May. The talk is from 4 to 6 p.m. Call 879-6830.
Steamboat Springs Tom Barron has written books about a teenage girl's adventures, the trials of a young Merlin and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Through the picture books, adventure novels, nature guides and epic fantasies, the author - who goes by the penname T.A. Barron - keeps a constant theme: the hero in every child.
"It's a big theme in my books. The fiction ones that most people know me for - the books about young Merlin or a heroic teenage girl named Kate - all those books have that hero's journey idea at the center of the story," Barron said.
The author, based in Boulder, will tell some of his favorite stories about young heroes in a presentation and a book signing at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bud Werner Memorial Library. Epilogue Book Co. will sell books from his diverse catalog.
Barron's focus on high-achieving children comes more from being a father of five than it does from being a writer, he said.
"I have realized that kids need much more sense of their own potential to make a difference in the world," he said. "As a society, we are massively confused between what is a hero and what is a celebrity, and we give our kids a very mixed message about what is important. What I'm trying to do is, in my own small way, I'm going to try to counter that trend."
The kid-focused theme of his Steamboat talk comes from a local connection. Barbara Ann Richman, executive director of The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, is a resident here.
"Because of her, I want to spend kind of an extra focus. I'm going to show a trailer from a documentary film that profiles seven kids who have won the Young Heroes Prize," Barron said.
The author has connections of his own to Steamboat. Barron fell for the place in 2001, when his book "The Ancient One" was the subject of the Steamboat Reads program. Bud Werner Memorial Library and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore pushed community members to read and discuss the book in a monthlong campaign. Since then, Barron has taken every chance offered to come back to the Yampa Valley.
The more families and children who show up to his lecture this time around, the better, he said.
"They'll hear about some amazing kids who will be very much like themselves and who have found some very cool ways to make a difference."