As a child, Kaitlin Branch was a frequent visitor of the A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St. She remembers carefully selecting books with her mother and coming into the cool, bookish smelling library on hot, humid days. On one such day, her mother asked for a recommendation for Kaitlin from library specialist Suzan Jank. Kaitlin is truly grateful for what Suzan said next. “I know exactly the thing! This is a series about a girl who disguises herself as a boy so she can be a knight. There’s magic! She’ll love it.”
That series was by author Tamora Pierce, and not only did Kaitlin love it, she claims it changed her life. “I think in many ways, the books changed my love for writing and my style,” said Kaitlin. “Before, writing was just a chore for school that I didn’t relish. It soon became a tool to do the things I loved – to tell stories.” Because Kaitlin’s mother had been a patron at Sorensen Branch for so long, she trusted that Suzan knew what types of literature they might enjoy. So, while Kaitlin knew her mother woud insist she read the recommended book whether she wanted to or not, once she started, she was happy to keep reading. She was inspired by the strong female characters and eventually led her to want to inspire others through her writing in the same way.
Kaitlin is now grown up and living in South Korea with her husband, Michael. They teach English to kindergartners and elementary school children. They are also co-authors of a new book series, “The Athlele Series,” which will be published by Omaha-based company WriteLife, LLC. Follow Kaitlin and Michael on their blog, as well as Twitter and Facebook.
As for Suzan, she is thrilled to know that someone enjoyed a book she recommended. “I remember finding wonderful books as a teen that I treasured. It is one of the joys of my job to help everyone find a story that ‘speaks’ to them, and enriches their life,” she said. Find your recommended reads here!