Augusta: Local author to headline annual Library Friends meeting

Story by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

I’ve known Alice Leonhardt for years, but I didn’t know this about her. She wrote, illustrated and self-published her first book at age 7. Which puts me about 25 years behind her, and that’s not accounting for my lack of illustration skills.

Starting from a very early age, obviously, then, Leonhardt (who also writes under the name Alison Hart) has known well the value of reading literacy in her life and in the lives of her readers. A veteran teacher and professor and now a many-times published author, Leonhardt is also caught up in the fight against something that I didn’t know existed until she mentioned it – reading aliteracy, which is defined as the lack of interest in reading.

The Augusta County-based writer will talk on this and other related topics at the annual Friends of the Augusta County Library annual gathering on Friday. This year’s gathering will be a noon luncheon in the Fellowship Hall at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church in Fishersville.

Specifically, the focus of Leonhardt’s talk will be “Writing and Researching Historical Fiction,” which is one of the areas where Leonhardt has become adept as a writer. Her most recent book project, Racing to Freedom, is a trilogy that follows Gabriel, a young Kentucky slave, during the Civil War. Gabriel’s Horses, the first title in the trilogy, has been nominated for more than seven children’s choice awards. Gabriel’s Journey, the final book in the trilogy, is about the Battle of Saltville, Va.

Those interested in attending this exciting annual meeting should make reservations immediately. The deadline is Wednesday, October 8. Stop by the library to reserve your space (and pick up one of Leonhardt’s books) or send a check (box lunches are $15 per person) to Friends of the Augusta County Library, 1759 Jefferson Highway, Fishersville, Va. 22939.


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