I love being a librarian, specifically a school librarian. During my years at The Lovett School in Atlanta, GA, I had the privilege of working with some incredible students, many of whom I still chat with on a regular basis. I met them as 6th graders and got to watch them grow up and graduate. They have gone on to be professors, teachers, Disney Imagineers, actors, musicians, and so many more. Now, one of them has become one of my favorite kinds of people…an author!
I met Maggie Thrash when she was a 7th grader and I was in charge of my first advisory group. Maggie was one of the most unique students I’ve ever had. Her confidence belied her age and my age, for that matter. That year I had students who were a bit intimidating to me but Maggie would show up and exude such spirit that I was able to draw on her strength and handle things like a pro (or at least to fake it till I actually had confidence of my own). When she got into high school, she came to me and asked if I’d be the faculty adviser for a club she wanted to start. I was taken aback but excited for the honor. FOGS (Fellowship of the Outer Galactic Sphere) lasted for seven fabulous years and remains one of my favorite memories.
Maggie has written two books. Her first, Honor Girl, is a memoir. You might not think that a young woman in her late 20s would have much to memorialize. Not so for Maggie. Her seventeenth year brought change and confusion into her life. Every summer was spent at camp with most of the same girls. She’s never had a boyfriend or even kissed anyone before so she is unprepared for the turmoil the casual contact with Erin, her female camp counselor causes. A girl having a crush on another girl at a camp in the deep south just won’t do. Maggie has no one to talk to about the situation and is afraid to approach Erin for fear of rejection but, when it seems as though Erin might feel the same way, neither of the girls or the camp are ready or able to handle what happens next.
Maggie’s second book is a fictional tale full of the angst that only teenagers can understand. It’s Friday night in the south; a night full of testosterone and scantily clad cheerleaders. As game time nears, Brittany, the Wild Cat Mascot, totters around the field on unsteady feet. No one really takes notice until she suddenly bolts from the field. Soon, the rest of the cheerleaders and other students give chase. The mood is merry right up until the Wild Cat reaches the middle bridge of the that spans the rushing Chattahoochee River and jumps! The crowd is stunned into silence for a moment but soon cries for help ring out. For days, the search goes on. When the matted, furry costume finally washes ashore, it isn’t Brittany’s body inside of it.