KAYSVILLE – Fans filled the auditorium to overflowing. They were standing along the back wall and spilling into the halls at the breakout sessions.
These weren’t sports fans or fans of music groups or celebrities.
These were fans of books and the women and men who write them.
Monday was the third annual Family Literacy Night sponsored by Davis School District and held at Davis High.
Hundreds lined the halls around the school’s fine arts wing, each waiting to meet Richard Paul Evans, get his autograph and tell him how they are his biggest (or oldest, or tallest) fans.
He was just as grateful for their interest and support, expressing thanks to those who said they love his Michael Vey books, encouraging those who were planning to read them.
“The kids are so happy to see him,” said Belinda Kuck, who oversees program support in Davis School District’s curriculum and instruction department.
“A lot of them had a hard time controlling their emotions,” she said.
Because Evans’ character, Michael Vey deals with Tourette’s Syndrome, something Evans has also dealt with, the stories are especially poignant to kids with challenges, she said.
“I love that kids get to see themselves in a book and can have those experiences and solve problems and meet these challenges,” she said.
The evening event featured 17 other authors of children’s books and young adult novels. Many shared their experiences writing and answered questions about generating ideas, starting a draft, getting through writer’s block, working with a graphic artist, finding an agent or building a platform.
Brothers Jaron and Malachi Grass attended the evening event with their mother, Sarah.
“I start reading a book and then get so into it I can’t stop,” said Malachi, a fourth grader.
Sixth grader Jaron said he reads an hour or two a day and likes books that are full of adventure and funny with lots of twists.
“They learn to dream,” said their mother, who tries to keep up with everything they read. “They learn to see humor in life and they have adventures.”
Attending the literacy night is something they look forward to each year, she said, as a chance to “meet the people behind the stories.”