Earlier this month, a boy with spiked hair and bright blue eyes sat at a table in the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, sketching his next piece of public art. The word READ burst from the page in red-orange lettering. Now, it blazes on a wall for the whole neighborhood to see.
In a July 6, 1971, speech before media executives at a Holiday Inn in Kansas City, Missouri, President Richard M. Nixon hinted at a future shift in foreign policy that would climax in his unprecedented visit to China. Trouble was, no one at the Holiday Inn fully fathomed what “Tricky Dick” was up to.
Whether it’s set in the earliest days of Britain or amid the ravages of World War II, a good historical fiction book blends historical accuracy and storytelling into a neat package. Readers of this genre like knowing they are learning something and at the same time getting a great story.
A fixture on the local literary scene, Gina Kaufmann has written for The Kansas City Star and The Pitch, spent two years on the air as co-host of KCUR’s Walt Bodine Show, and organizes regular storytelling events. Now a freelance writer working on her master’s in creative writing, she’s a regular at the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch.