The Sherman Public Library will hold its 30th annual authorfest this week. Highlighting authors and illustrators, the library has decided to have this year’s event centered around author Joseph Bruchac, who has written more than 120 books for children and adults.


Authorfest will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Sherman Museum, which is located at 301 S. Walnut Street in Sherman.


“He will be speaking at Piner Middle School on Friday and then to the audience at the museum on Thursday,” Sherman Library Youth Services Librarian Aileen Barton said. “We want to inspire children that are kind of in between elementary school and high school to read. We want to show them that reading and writing is still cool.”


Barton said that children in middle school are often harder for the library to reach.


“They are at an age where they are getting busy with band and sports and other extra curricular activities,” she said. “They are at an age where they may not be as active readers as they were in the past. We do not want to lose them to reading. We want to work on keeping them motivated to read.”


Bruchac’s stories include “Code Talker,” “Skeleton Man,” “Turtle’s Race with Beaver,” “Arrow Over the Door” and “When the Chenoo Howels.” He won a Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature from the New York Library Association, a Cherokee Nation Prose Award, and the 1998 Storyteller of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.


“We also found it very interesting that he draws from his personal experiences,” Bruchac said. “He has a Native American background and we hope that children can relate and learn from the stories that he has written.”


Bruchac was selected as the 2018 featured author because of the number of books that he has written and the number of awards that he has received. Bruchac will host a writing workshop and Barton hopes that after hearing from Bruchac, students will consider professional writing as a possible career path.


“I want people to come away knowing that they can write stories,” Barton said. “We want them to know that authors are real people. They have real experiences. We want them to leave saying, ‘I can be that.’ We also want them to know that their favorite authors are accessible. You can tweet them. You can reach out to them.”


To learn more about Bruchac, visit his website http://josephbruchac.com/ and for more information about authorfest, call the Sherman Public Library at 903-892-7240.