(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / October 21, 2021) – Community members of all ages are invited to hear the award-winning author and illustrator, John Rocco, speak via a virtual author visit on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m. Rocco's 2012 Caldecott Honor book "Blackout" is Stillwater's first-ever "NEA Little Read" book selection and is currently being adapted into a live-action feature film. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link to attend.


Rocco is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of many acclaimed books for children. "How We Got to the Moon" received the Sibert Honor and was longlisted for the National Book Award. Rocco is also a well-known illustrator and has created covers for Rick Riordan's internationally bestselling series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians," "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard" and "The Trials of Apollo."


The Stillwater Public Library partnered with the Oklahoma State University Library to virtually bring Rocco to Stillwater. 


Mary Larson, Puterbaugh Professor of Library Service and Associate Dean for Special Collections, expresses the importance of connecting with authors. 


"For readers, authors are the creators of the words and worlds we voluntarily inhabit when we immerse ourselves in the pages of their books," Larson said.


Larson also believes that interacting with authors gives readers a chance to appreciate the individuals behind the beloved stories and gives insight into why authors wrote them.


"Learning more about their inspirations, their creative processes and their intentions gives so much more depth and context to our understanding of their works," Larson said.


Elizabeth Murray, children's librarian, is excited to introduce John Rocco to Stillwater.


"I know many kids and adults fondly remember the first time they met an author either at the library or school," Murray said. "I am excited the Stillwater reading community will get a chance to hear from an author such as Rocco, who has such an impressive resume and has works that span multiple age groups." 


This partnership between the OSU Library and Stillwater Public Library is an excellent opportunity to work together to enrich literacy opportunities for the entire community. 


"For children, events like these allow them to see that authors are real people and that we all have stories to tell," Larson said. "By partnering with the Stillwater Public Library, the OSU library hopes to help children make these connections and lay the foundation for lifelong learning." 


Free copies of "Blackout" along with an art scavenger hunt are available for pick up at the Stillwater Public Library while supplies last. All ages are encouraged to join in the fun. 


While at the library, adult participants can pick up a free copy of the "Big Read" book selection "Station Eleven" by EmilySt. John Mandel by signing up for a book discussion. St. John Mandel will also meet with the community virtually on Nov. 11. 


Anyone interested in attending Rocco's virtual visit must register online at library.stillwater.org/nea_big_read_stillwater.php. The Zoom link will be sent out to registrants before the program. Questions about signing up should be directed to the Help Desk by calling (405) 372-3633 x8106 or emailing askalibrarian@stillwater.org


NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Additional funding for "NEA Big and Little Read: Stillwater" is provided by the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, the Stillwater Public Library Trust and the OSU Library.


The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.