The Herald-Dispatch

We're heading into summer reading season and as luck would have it there's a bunch of events slated for this week for local authors.

Kick off to the summer reading season

"A Universe of Stories," await you at the Cabell County Public Library, 455 9th St. in Huntington, at 11 a.m. Monday, June 10, as they kick off their space-themed Summer Reading program with a Kickoff Party filled with games, snacks and prizes.

Attendees will also be able to sign up for the Summer Reading Program, meet a surprise costumed character and find out about all the summer fun at the library including the building of a LEGO space station.

Other activities include Martian Munchies, hear a story and build a space snack at this event sponsored by Aetna Better Health of West Virginia at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 11 Spacecraft for Kids will take off at 4 p.m. also scheduled for June 11.

On Wednesday, June 12, it's an Ice Cream Social Story Hour at 10:30 a.m. The toddler story time will be at Austin's At the Market. At 5 p.m. Wednesday, it's build a LEGO Space Station at the library.

At 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 14, it's Animal Adventure. Learn about animals and conservation through the Des Coveries Education and Entertainment. They will be bringing a boa constrictor, hissing cockroaches, a tarantula and more.

Call 304-528-5700 for more information or go online at

The West Virginia Library Commission, partnering with 171 public libraries across the state, and have announced the launch of its 2019 Summer Reading Program - A Universe of Stories. Each year, the Library Commission teams up with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a national organization providing high-quality, low-cost materials for libraries, to help libraries facilitate summer reading programs. Children, teens and adults are encouraged to participate throughout the summer in a variety of reading and education programs.

In 2019, the Library Commission will provide each public library in the state with a program kit filled with projects, programs, and ideas for a full summer of reading. In addition, the CSLP reading program includes best practice suggestions, library activities, and summer reading lists - all centered on the Universe of Stories theme.

Preventing the "summer slide" continues to be the main objective of summer reading programs. For many families, the public library is the only community space available during the summer months where they can access free educational and cultural enrichment activities and programs.

"Studies show that a student's literacy skills are strengthened when they read during the summer," said Lisa Hechesky, Library Commission Youth Services Consultant. "It helps them build reading skills, prevent summer learning loss and prepare for a successful school year. Our goal is for every West Virginia student to pick up a book this summer and read!"

To learn more about the programs available in your area, visit a West Virginia public library or contact Lisa Hechesky at 304-558-2041 and learn how to Explore, Discover, and Create a universe of stories in West Virginia libraries this summer.

X-Plan book launch

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, head over to Black Sheep Burrito & Brews, 279 9th Street in Huntington, where there will be a book launch party for Bert Fulks' new book, "X-Plan Parenting: Become Your Child's Ally: A Guide to Raising Strong Kids in a Challenging World." The launch party is hosting giveaways, readings, behind-the-scenes fun and book-signings.

The creator of the viral parenting concept the "X-Plan" illuminates the importance of awakening your child's unique strength-while also taking an introspective look at your own life story to become a better parent.

Last year, father and former teacher Bert Fulks's simple parenting idea went viral: if your teenagers find themselves in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or trapped, they can text a family member an "X." That family member will then call, giving the teen a way out, while still maintaining their freedom - and no questions will be asked.

Now in X-Plan Parenting, Fulks expands on the how and the why behind his plan, emphasizing the importance of developing trusting relationships with our kids. Drawing on biblical principles, Fulks's approach illuminates how even though parents want the best for children, they sometimes parent from a place of brokenness and a desire for control rather than support and encouragement.

Book jacket quotes include this, "Bert Fulks is a storyteller who uses honesty and vulnerability to help guide parents to cultivate their own child's God-given authentic self," wrote Margaret Dempsey, PhD, licensed psychologist.

"Christian principles guide this work, but many of the ideas, such as the "X" plan, will likely resonate with a wider audience," wrote Library Journal. The book is now open for pre-order on

Huntington native Weisberg coming home for book signing

Dr. Michael Weisberg, a Huntington native who has been in private practice in Plano, Texas since 1991, is coming home this weekend to celebrate the release of his second medical-based novel.

Weisberg will be at Inner Geek Huntington at Pullman Square from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, June 14, to sign copies of his latest novel, "The End."

"Before I put patients to sleep for their colonoscopies, I ask if they have any questions. Many comically reply, "Doc, what's the meaning of life?" Weisberg writes explaining the book. "I always reply that their question cannot be answered because there is no one meaning to life, but instead the question should be, what gives meaning to their individual life?"

In the first half of In The End, five characters search for what gives meaning to their lives. They sort through issues such as religion, their relationship with God, homosexuality, abuse, loss of a loved one, ambition, economic disparity, and life after death. Weisberg's first novel "The Hospitalist" (2014), was a prescient and humorous thriller about the practice of medicine in modern times. In 2016, Dr. Weisberg was selected to give a TedTalk on "How the Art of Medicine Became a Business in the 21st Century." He is currently writing his third novel.

Dr. Weisberg graduated in 1981 from Vanderbilt University Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. He earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1985 and completed a fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

He has been in private practice in Plano, Texas, since 1991. He has been recognized as a 'Super-Doctor' by Texas Monthly and named to D Magazine's list of best doctors eight times. Dr. Weisberg also serves as a board member of Digestive Health Associates of Texas.

Go online at for more info.

Meet author Robert W. Walker and get a free audible book

Robert W. Walker, teaches a full Adjunct load of classes in writing and research writing at WVSU in Institute and works part time with Job Corps in Charleston.

When the Hurricane resident is not teaching, he is voraciously writing. He is the author of some ten separate series and multi-volume novels as well as "Dead On Writing," which is his Creative Writing class in ebook and audio formats.

"While born in Corinth, MS., I was raised from an early age in inner-city Chicago, which explains why I write crime and horror novels primarily, although, as Twain was/is my spiritual mentor," Walker writes. "I have trained on writing in any genre I pick up and have done so with a whopping 80 novels - all on Amazon Kindle shelves and now have 50 titles as well."

To share the wealth of word and stories, Walker will be passing out free audible promo codes at his book signing from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at Inner Geek.

"I just recently discovered that all the audible titles have between 25-50 promo codes apiece, which amounts to over 2000 audible books I can and will be offering up free to customers at Inner Geek," Walker said.

Go online at to check out more about Robert W. Walker.

'Storming Heaven' with Tracy Lawrence

So how cool is this? West Virginia Public Theatre is presenting a new musical and the world premiere of "Storming Heaven: The Musical," that is based on the incredible WV novel by Denis Giardina.

The musical was adapted for the stage by Katy Blake and Peter Davenport and doing the music is Katy Blake, Peter Davenport, Tracy Lawrence, and Flip Anderson. Yes, that Tracy Lawrence - who has charted more than 40 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including eight songs that reached No. 1.Giardina, the famed WV novelist, will do a talk-back after the June 16th show. It is recommended for ages 12+ due to mild language and violence.

The musical has run dates scheduled for Tuesday through Sunday, June 11-16 at the Gladys G. Davis Theatre, WVU Creative Arts Center in Morgantown. Go online at for more info about the musical.


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