Tracey Fortkamp

Biography of a Children's Books Reviewer

Meet Tracey Fortkamp, children's book reviewer

Fortkamp Tracey
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I have always loved books – the smell of them, the feel of them, the excitement of starting a new story – I am someone who believes the book is always better than the movie. I feel about books the way others feel about their favorite TV series. My husband is amazed that I will take the time to read two or three books a week.

My taste in books has definitely changed over the years. I have gone from reading the NY York Times bestsellers and looking for meaning in books related to religion and social issues, to reading my children every picture book I could get my hands on and finally reading as research for my job as a librarian for a K-8 school.

After a long career in non-profit management and then staying home to raise my two boys, I actually fell into the librarian position. When my boys were both of school age, I wanted to find a job that would allow me to utilize my Masters in Education and to be home when the boys are home. And just my luck, the boys’ school was looking for a part-time librarian.

While, I myself had never been a librarian before, my master’s degree helps me to motivate the students to reach their reading goals, as well as hopefully instilling in them a lifelong love of books.

There is nothing better than a student telling me how much they loved a book that I recommended for them.

The other great thing about being a librarian is that I have had this amazing opportunity to read books that I may otherwise have never picked up, especially young adult novels.

I have really developed such an appreciation for writing geared toward the teenage age group. And some of my all-time favorite books are part of that genre – The Hunger Games, Shiver, the Tunnels series, and Harry Potter to name a few.

Noted author Paul Sweeney writes, “You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

I can so relate to this – I am a firm believer that books can transport you into their world. I was sad when I read the final book in the Harry Potter series, was frustrated at the end of Catching Fire when I found out the sequel won’t be out for a year and have cried numerous times when a beloved character dies.

What can I say, I get emotionally invested in the books I read - they take me on a journey. Hopefully my reviews will spark you to try a new title or author and take off on an emotional and exciting journey of your own.

-- Tracey Fortkamp

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