Kentucky Author Reads to Frankfort Christian Academy Students

Posted by Carrie Beth Tigges on OP2er @ 2:50 PM

Frankfort, KY  March 29, 2018

A Kentucky author stopped by The Frankfort Christian Academy on Thursday to read one of his books to the students.

Cliff Shumate, of Paris, read “Raisin’s Odyssey” to students in the school’s library. Librarian Penny Woods has been teaching the children about authors for the past month. The students had been focusing on Mo Willems, a children’s book author, and studying other authors.

“They looked at things like what are similarities from books to books, what are they seeing that is alike in the text, what are they seeing that is alike in the illustrations. They looked for easter egg characters–characters that appear in a second book that maybe isn’t about them,” Woods said.

The students ended their author study Thursday by listening to Shumate read and asking him questions. Many students were eager to hear how he became an author.

Shumate, who became an author in retirement, spent most of his life writing for businesses. One day, he decided to write the story “Gram’s Journey” about a dog that his family rescued. He decided to make his first book a story about where the dog could have come from. Shumate said he never thought about publishing it, until he shared the book with a few people, and they suggested it.

Since then, Shumate has published a second book, and he’s working on a third.

Shumate said he never imagined he would be reading a book that he wrote to a classroom full of students.

“It really has just come as a blessing and a surprise that we are able to meet children. We actually have older children who bought the book, read the book and are now sharing it with their younger siblings,” Shumate said.

Woods found Shumate two years ago at Mayfest Art Fair in Lexington, where he had a booth. Woods stopped by and read through his book. She reviews books for Kentucky Living magazine and wanted to do a review of “Gram’s Journey.”

Later, Woods told Shumate that she was a librarian and asked him to come read to the kids.


“They’ve been really excited to get to meet an author and hear him read his own work,” Woods said.

She told students a few days earlier that the author would be visiting. Some students came in earlier Thursday morning asking if he had arrived yet.

While the author was there, students had an opportunity to purchase and have Shumate sign one of his books.

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