03 Jul Staff Reads: John David Anderson’s Books
by Andrea Gallagher, Youth Services Librarian
The first book of John David Anderson’s that I picked up and read during the summer of 2016 was Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, which I enjoyed so much that I immediately began recommending it to some of our local library families. Then I read his novel Posted, an amazing social-awareness experience for kids, when it came out the following year, when Mr. Anderson was named the 2017 Indiana Author Award Genre Excellence Winner for Middle Grade Fiction. That’s when I discovered that Mr. Anderson was a local author; he and his family live in the Indianapolis area.
You know how some books are so good that you immediately want to read everything else by that author? Well, his books are those books! I tracked down all of Anderson’s titles to read. Both of the books I’d previously read were realistic fiction titles that addressed issues like bullying, serious illness and the trials of friendship, so I was surprised to discover that Anderson writes fantasy books as well! Of Anderson’s fantasy titles, Granted and Insert Coin to Continue are set in modern times and popular culture, Sidekicked and Minion are set in an alternate reality with superheroes and supervillains, and The Dungeoneers and Standard Hero Behavior are pure action-adventure romps.
Finding Orion, Anderson’s newest book, is centered around a quirky family who go on a search to learn more about one estranged member of their family and end up discovering a few unexpected things about themselves. The main character’s mother works as the director of a planetarium, and she named him and his two sisters for some of her favorite constellations, which was enough of a tie-in with our summer reading program’s space theme of “A Universe of Stories” to catch my attention. I decided to contact Mr. Anderson to have him come speak to us at the library this summer and am excited to announce he’ll be joining us on the evening of Tuesday, July 30th for an author talk and chocolate treats! Registration is open for this special event!