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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« Indie Bookstore Profile: Another Story Bookshop plus WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? May 14th launch, 6-8 pm EST | Main | Mini-interview with Mary Brown, owner of indie bookstore Books, Bytes & Beyond »

Mini-interview with Kira Larson, Children's Dept Head and Book Buyer at Scuppernong Books

Today's post is part of my WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? book tour series, where I highlight some of the places I'll be visiting or working with to visit local schools.

Photo: Jon Mayes.I'm excited about visiting Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC on May 6th at 5 pm! Scuppernong opened in 2015 and has been an essential part of the rebirth of Greensboro ever since.

They not only have a wonderful children's section in addition to their fiction, poetry and broad range of general interest titles, but they also have a cafe.

Scuppernong hosts hundreds of events a year and brings in writers from across the country. And CANADA, woohoo! (hand waving wildly here)

You can find out more about Scuppernong Books on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

Kira Larson is the head of the children's department at Scuppernong as well as their book buyer, and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me:

Q. How did you get involved with Scuppernong Books?

I went to Library school to get my Master's in Library Science at UNC Greensboro and after finishing school worked different jobs until a friend introduced me to the owners. I helped open the store and build up the Children's Department of which I work as the Head.

Photo: Jon Mayes.

Q. What makes Scuppernong special?

Scuppernong Books is special to Greensboro because it is the only independent new bookstore in our city. People in town have been so kind and supportive of us in our first years and we hope to give back to them in every way we can. Scuppernong Books is special to me because it has allowed me to work with children's books and programming for kids, which I love!

Photo: Jon Mayes.

Getting to come into work and read a new stack of picture books or show a book I'm excited about to someone makes my day every time.

Q. If you had to pick one piece of advice for parents who are trying to get their children to read more, what would it be?

Be excited about reading! Read everything from books to the backs of cereal boxes!

Some of my greatest memories are of how enthusiastic my parents would be about new books they brought home for us from the library or a bookstore. They always encouraged me to read what I was interested in and explore the topic to the fullest.

I also encourage parents and educators to let their kids choose what they want to read, especially if it is technically "above" their reading level. This lets kids push themselves to succeed and fosters a greater set of reading skills which will help them all their lives.

Photo: Jon Mayes.

Q. What are you reading these days?

Currently I'm reading an advance copy of Sarah Dessen's new novel Saint Anything (and it is AMAZING) and a book by Leonard S. Marcus called Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators. I try to keep up with YA novels but also continue to learn about my field through books about children's materials. Those, plus there's always a stack of new picture books to explore!

(Above: Brian Lampkin and Steve Mitchell talk about why they opened Scuppernong Books)

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