Dear Reader: Farewell to The Master

While I was away at BEA, Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91. Ray Bradbury was not the first science fiction author I have read, but he is the one that made the biggest impact on my life. I first read his story “All Summer in a Day” in a collection of short stories edited by Isaac Asimov called Tomorrow’s Children, which I read in high school. This made such an impression on me, that I sought out other works by Bradbury. In college, I read Fahrenheit 451, and decided to become a librarian, to champion literacy, books, and reading. I refuse to own a wall-mounted TV, due to this book. Then came The Martian Chronicles, a collection of short stories around the theme of exploring and colonizing Mars; The Illustrated Man; R is for Rocket; S is for Space; Dandelion Wine; and many more. I own most of his books and have read them over and over, especially some of his short stories. Two years ago, while attending The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, my friends and I saw a show based on three Bradbury stories, done with music, mime, and puppets. Mr. Bradbury was especially prescient, foreseeing the invention of the iPod, ATMs, interactive devices, and other things we now take for granted, as can be seen in this illustration: Bradbury Graphic. I recommend that you try a Bradbury story or book. Ask me to suggest some.
BTW, tomorrow is the official start of the Summer Reading Program. There will be prize drawings for teens and tweens (2 each week), adults (one per week), plus prizes for the top boy and girl reader in each grade, plus the top family of readers (at least one adult in the family must register along with the kids). Go to Dream Big – Read! to register. There is also a staff reading contest going on. Top prize: a parking space near the door for a month.

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