Green River Star -

Best-selling author to visit county, schools


Best-selling young-adult author Roland Smith will be in Sweetwater County next week.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the Sweetwater County Library System has some exciting events planned for his visit.

Smith is the author of books such as "I,Q," "Storm Runners," "Cryptid Hunters," "Beneath" and "Peak." Along with his young adult books, Smith has worked with his wife, Marie, to co-author several picture books such as "Z the Zookeeper," and "S is for Smithsonian." He has also written several non-fiction books about animals.

The Sweetwater County Library System is hosting two free in-library events with Smith. The first is an Author Party starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the Sweetwater County Library.

"We will have stations throughout the library focused on Smith's books – we have a wind tunnel activity for 'Storm Runners,' and a make-your-own A-B-C book based on Smith's picture book series," Becky Iwen, library youth services manager, said.

"Also, based on Smith's 'I,Q' books, the kids will go on a spy mission. They'll receive a spy name, reveal the mission code, hunt for books, and use the online catalog to reveal the final clue," Iwen said.

As part of the mission, the kids will also be able to meet Smith and get books signed. When they finish the mission, they will be entered into a prize drawing to win some of Smith's books.

The second library event will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 at White Mountain Library. Smith will give a presentation, answer questions from fans, and have a book signing at the event.

"This is a great opportunity to hear some insights from the author – he's an engaging speaker," Lindsey Travis, public relations specialist for the library system, said. "Also, our friends over at Hastings will be selling books at both library events, so people will have an opportunity to stock up on Smith's books and get them signed."

Along with the two events in the libraries, the library system has set up several school visits. Smith will visit students from Monroe Intermediate School and Lincoln Middle School and all fourth graders in Green River. He will the visit with students at Eastside, Pilot Butte, Rock Springs Junior High and Holy Spirit Schools in Rock Springs.

"We couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Smith visit the schools," Travis said. "Hearing authors speak is such a great thing for students. Authors help encourage reading and literacy, help kids connect with books and encourage kids to write. A big thanks to the Sweetwater County Library Foundation, Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the Sweetwater One Public School Foundation, and Commerce Bank of Wyoming for helping make all of these school visits possible."

Smith and his wife, Marie, live on a small farm in Oregon. Smith studied English at Portland State University with the intent on becoming a writer. While going to school, he landed a job at a zoo. This led to a more than 20-year career working with animals.

"My writing led me to animals and my work with animals led me back to writing," Smith states in the bio on his website. "It's funny how things work out. I spent over 20 years working with animals. Now I'm going to spend the next 20 years writing about well as a few other things."

Smith recently started 10,000 mile cross-country tour with the plans of visiting more than 100 schools.

"We're fortunate to be a part of this tour," Travis said. "It's exciting that he'll be able to talk with so many kids here in Sweetwater County."


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