Party celebrates release of young adult novel
Literature Alive! will celebrate the release of author Kim Culbertson’s first novel, “Songs for a Teenage Nomad,” at a reading and book signing on Saturday in Grass Valley. This is a local affair, as Culbertson is a Nevada City resident, and the publisher is Hip Pocket Press (owned by Charles and Gail Entrekin, also of Nevada City). A portion of proceeds from the book’s sale will benefit Inkwell, Literature Alive!’s poetry writing program at local high schools.
Culbertson has taught high school English, creative writing and drama for more than 10 years in private and public schools (including Nevada Union High School). Currently, she is the college advisor and creative writing teacher at Forest Charter School, a progressive personalized learning program. She sees writing as an extension of her teaching.
Not surprisingly, then, Culbertson says about the book’s protagonist, “Calle is very much an amalgamation of many of the high school students I’ve taught. She has a very individual story that I think speaks in a very universal way.”
“Songs for a Teenage Nomad” introduces readers to Calle Smith, a 14-year-old girl who, after living in 12 places in eight years with her drifting mother, finds herself in Andreas Bay, Calif., at the start of ninth grade. Fearful of putting down roots anywhere but armed with her song journal, she moves to her own sound track through a world that bounces her between the school drama crowd, a mysterious loner and an unlikely boy who will become her first love. But it’s the troubling truth she uncovers about her father that forces Calle to face the toughest choice of her young life.
Perhaps the best praise about the book comes from its readers, one of whom (16-year-old Michaela from Portland, Ore.) is quoted on the book’s back cover: “Kim Culbertson understands me. … From start to finish, I relate to Calle on a level that I have never before experienced in a book.”
Formed in 1994, Literature Alive! is now a program of the Center for the Arts. Its mission is to bring the living voice of American literature to the local community by presenting public readings and festivals celebrating writers and their words.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Literature Alive! presents a Book Release Party with author Kim Culbertson
WHEN: Saturday, June 16, 2-4 p.m.
WHERE: Off Center Stage (behind the Center for the Arts), 315 Richardson St., downtown Grass Valley
ADMISSION: Tickets for $10 are available through the Center’s box office, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley, (530) 274-8384, ext. 14, Tues.-Sat. 12-7 p.m.; at The Book Seller, Harmony Books, and The Record Connection; and at the door, if available.
INFORMATION: Call 274-8384 or go online at http://www.thecenteforthearts.org.
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