KATONAH, N.Y.—The Katonah Village Library will be hosting a local favorite in February, one that comes from just down the road in Mount Kisco. Valerie Tripp, the author of 31 “American Girl” books, will be visiting the library on February 10 to read from her books and answer questions from the public.
A graduate of Fox Lane High School, Tripp grew up in Mount Kisco and went to Mount Kisco Elementary School in the Bedford Central School District, ultimately graduating from Yale University in 1973.
Tripp has written books about the well-known characters Kit Kittredge and Molly McIntire, along with stories regarding Elizabeth, Ruthie, and Emily, the best friends of the protagonists. While Fox Lane and Yale were integral in her learning experience, Tripp notes that her time spent in the Mount Kisco Elementary classrooms were valuable to her creativity.
“The classrooms had tall windows, rows of desks, and maps and bulletin boards; they looked very much as I imagined Molly and Emily's classroom to look in Brave Emily,” Tripp writes on her website. “I was lucky, because in my class I had friends from all over the world; Italy, Ireland, Bolivia, Greece, Finland, Latvia, and Japan. My best friend, Bobby, was the inspiration for Kit's friend Ruthie.
Stephanie Mandella is the new children’s book librarian at the Village Library, and is very excited to see Tripp’s impact on the young girls from around the area.
“American Girl is such a popular series still, and she had been here before for a great turnout. We thought she’d be a nice influence,” Mandella said. “The series is important because of the values the books represent, and also because of their historical significance.”
Tripp’s resume alone is reason to congregate, but the fact she is from the area brings another value to the table.
“Local kids can think, ‘I can do it, too.’ Here she is, she’s successful, and I think it’s important that this person has done all of this, and is now coming back and giving back to the community,” Mandella said. “It’s important for kids to see.”
The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. at the library, and is free to the public. Children age seven and up are allowed, and to reserve seating, call the library at 914-232-1233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.