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Area Kids Encouraged to "Read a Mountain of Books" Again in Frostburg

July marks the second annual "Frostburg Reads a Mountain of Books," a program designed to encourage children to read in association with the Frostburg State University Children's Literature Centre Summer Author Institute.

Over this past year, students in the area were challenged to read 2,900 books, which corresponds to the height in feet of Savage Mountain. The students met the challenge with no problem, so this year youngsters are being challenged to read 5,800 books, so that they not only climb Savage Mountain but go back down the other side.

Authors and illustrators attending the Summer Author Institute will play a critical role in this program, which runs from Tuesday, July 8, to Thursday, July 10. These award-winning authors and illustrators will speak to the children at the Frostburg Palace Theatre on Main Street in Frostburg.

The daily events will begin between 2:30 and 3 p.m. when children may pick up their tickets at The Palace Theatre. Their tickets will direct them to one of three locations in Frostburg - The Hotel Gunter, Main Street Books or West Winds kite store, all on Main Street - for a read-aloud session at 3 p.m. Following the read-aloud sessions, children are invited to participate in an art activity at 3:30 p.m. On Tuesday and Thursday, the activity will be at City Place on Water Street, and on Wednesday, it will be at the General Art Store on Main Street. Then at 4 p.m. each day, the children will return to The Palace to hear the authors speak.

Admission is free and reading enthusiasts from all arenas are welcome. Autographing by the visiting authors and illustrators will be available also during this program.

This three-day event will begin July 8 with writer Frank Murphy, a second-grade teacher in Newtown, Pa. Murphy loves to chase stories from the past. His first book, The Legend of the Teddy Bear, took him nearly two years to write. His other works include Always Inventing -- The True Story of Thomas Alva Edison and Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares. His latest book, George Washington and the General's Dog, has just been released by Random House. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

On July 9, the program welcomes writer Elisa Carbone. When she was four-and-a-half years old, she decided to write her first book. When it was completed, she was ecstatic to have created something solid from her imagination. Between age four-and-a-half and her early 30s, which is when she decided to write her second book, she grew up, got married, raised children, taught piano, guitar and dance lessons, then went to college, got a master's degree and taught college classes. Now, she makes her living as a writer. She says that writing gives her a sense of accomplishment that almost nothing else can.

Carbone is the author of many books including Stealing Freedom, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and Storm Warriors, an ALA Notable and winner of the Virginia Library Association's 2002 Jefferson Cup Award. Her latest novel, The Pack, has just been released by Viking.

On July 10, the Institute welcomes back illustrator Carol Schwartz. She has been an illustrator since 1976, during which time her works have been included in a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, advertising and trade, text and mass-market books, as well as other publications. Schwartz has received numerous honors from the Illustrators Club of Washington, the EdPress Association of America, the Original Art Exhibition. In addition, the Society of Illustrators has included her work in its permanent collection for outstanding female illustrators of the past hundred years.

Her books include Starfish Stars of the Sea, Octopus Under the Sea, Flying Bats and Whales and Dolphins. Her newest titles are Over in the Artic and Over in the Rain Forest.

This event is sponsored in part by the Allegany County Libraries, the FSU Children's Literature Centre, Friends of the Frostburg Library, Frostburg Palace Theatre Inc., FSU Summer School, the General Art Studio, Main Street Books, the Hotel Gunter and the West Winds kite store.

For more information, call (301) 687-4420 or (301) 687-0790 or e-mail or

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589