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Sarah: A New Bookseller Appears!!

I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. I have wonderful memories of visiting the old downtown Bellevue Library on Main Street, signing up for the annual summer reading program at the Eastgate KCLS branch, and running my fingers along the spines of books at the University Bookstore whenever my family ate out at the nearby Azteca restaurant. My mom almost always bought me the latest Baby Sitter’s Club or Sweet Valley Twins book. I was such a devoted reader that I used to force my friends to lounge under our family’s ping-pong table and listen to me read aloud some of my favorite novels, including Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, and Wendy and the Bullies. It was a surprise to no one when I became a 6th grade reading teacher and then an elementary librarian!

In late 2020, deciding I needed a break from education, I applied to the Master’s in Children’s Literature program at Simmons University, not knowing where it would lead me, but excited by the prospect of a grand adventure. In July of 2021 my husband, daughter, dog and I moved across the country to Newton, MA so I could study children’s literature and, while I am so grateful for everything I learned and all the fabulous people we met, I can’t wait to be back in the Pacific Northwest, especially because I’ll be working at Island Books! I have always wanted to work at an independent bookstore, so having an opportunity to grow the children’s department, connect readers with books, and meet even more people who are passionate about kidlit is beyond exciting.

I love all kinds of kids' books, from picture books to young adult novels, but I gravitate toward middle grade stories. I even produce the Happy Reading podcast, which spotlights middle grade books by topic. Some of my all-time favorite books include The Westing Game, the Vanderbeekers series, Boy Meets Boy, and Should I Share My Ice Cream? (an Elephant & Piggie book). Some more recent five-star reads include The Mona Lisa Vanishes, The First State of Being, The Color of Sound, and Dear Mr. G (I’m a sucker for picture books that make me cry).

When I’m not reading or browsing the shelves at my local library or bookstore, I also enjoy crocheting (I taught myself a few weeks ago and love it), baking, building with LEGO, planning our next Disney vacation, walking our adorable dog Jefferson, and watching movies with my family while snuggled up on the couch.

I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my life at Island Books!

Find me on Instagram as @kidlit_lover and via my podcast website: https://happyrdng.blogspot.com/

Sarah Threlkeld