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Catawba County Library Hosted New York Times Bestselling Author Visit

Incorporating African mythology and African-American folklore, Kwame Mbalia has created a world of stories for middle grade readers that deals with grief, legacy, and growing into one’s own strengths.

The Catawba County Library invited the community to gather at the Central Recreation Center in Newton for an author visit with Kwame Mbalia on Thursday, February 29 from 4 – 6 pm. Families enjoyed a light dinner, followed by a conversation with the New York Times bestselling author highlighting his life and his books, including Black Boy Joy and the Tristan Strong series. While he writes for middle grades, this event was for all ages!

This event is being offered as part of the library’s celebration of Black History Month. Black History Month is observed in February each year. It’s a time for education, reflection, and celebration of the diverse and impactful experiences of the African American community throughout history. The 2024 theme is “African Americans and the Arts” spanning the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more. This event has been made possible by funding from the Catawba County Friends of the Library, a cultural grant from the Corning Incorporated Foundation, and in partnership with the City of Newton.

Kwame Mbalia is a husband, father, writer, a New York Times bestselling author, and a former pharmaceutical metrologist in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky was awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and it—along with the sequels Tristan Strong Destroys the World and Tristan Strong Keeps Punching, is published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. He is the co-author of Last Gate of the Emperor with Prince Joel Makonnen and the editor of the #1 New York Times bestselling anthology Black Boy Joy. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now living in North Carolina, he survives on Dad jokes and Cheezits.

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