If you go
* What: “The Last Monster” book release party with author Ginger Garrett
* When: Saturday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m.
* Where: Post Road Library, 5010 Post Road
* Cost: Free, advance registration requested at forsythpl.org
WEST FORSYTH — Middle and high school students are invited to get their spook on Saturday at the Post Road Library.
Ginger Garrett, author of “The Last Monster,” will discuss her latest fictional book during an after-hours signing party at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but advance registration is requested.
“We’re so excited to have a small part in the national launch of Ginger’s latest book,” said Lisa Echols, youth services supervisor at the library located at 5010 Post Road.
“Ginger moderates our W3: Wednesday Writer’s Workshop, so several of our teen patrons have received the benefit of her professional feedback and literary critiques. Now a wider audience of teens will have an opportunity to talk with her about creative writing and enjoy some monster-sized fun in the process.”
Teens will receive “The Last Monster” temporary tattoos and bookmarks and can discover their own secret monster name.
Attendees are encouraged to wear monster costumes for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of the book.
They will also be able to step into a monster lab to suit up in a selection of creepy props and accessories before snapping pictures in a photo booth. A makeup artist will also be on hand to give guests scary monster makeovers.
“I’d written a lot of books for the inspirational market, but I knew the most important book I would ever write would be the one that gave a hurting kid hope,” said Garrett about her motivations for writing the book. “The teenage years can be tough. An encouraging word from a friend, parent or book can be life-saving.”
She has written several works of historical fiction, too, such as “The Serpent Moon” trilogy, “Lost Loves of the Bible” series and “The Chronicles of the Scribe” series.
Garrett has also authored or co-written several non-fiction books and devotionals for teens and adults.
“The Last Monster” may be Garrett’s first fictional work for teen readers, but she said she was already an expert in the stories teens want to read and characters to which they can relate.
She said she drew on her own experiences as a parent, as well as feedback from teens.
The story begins with Sofia, a seventh-grade cancer survivor with a prosthetic leg and an estranged best friend who receives a mysterious and ancient book.
Sofia learns she is the next Guardian and must find a way to protect all the “grotesquely beautiful but eternally lonely monsters hidden in our world.”
The tale is a “story steeped with magical realism about love, fear and the thrill of discovering who we were born to be,” reviewed the book’s publisher, Delacorte Press/Random House.
The “School Library Journal” reviewed that while the “fantastical elements are compelling, it’s the real-world situations that make this book stand out … a perfect recommendation for introspective kids who feel like outsiders.”
Garrett will also be hosting a series of four writer’s workshops at Post Road this summer, the library’s Echols said. More information will be announced as part of the library system’s summer reading program, and teens will be able to register for her workshops later this spring.
The library has received several copies of “The Last Monster” for its collection, and patrons can reserve a copy on the library’s website.
National retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, are taking orders for the book, too.
Garrett will have copies on sale during the event and said she will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Forsyth County Public Library Friends and Advocates.
Garrett will sign books purchased at the event as well as those purchased elsewhere.
For more information or to register for the event, visit forsythpl.org.