AUBURN — Katharine Garcia, a seventh-grader at Auburn Middle School, participated in the Auburn Book Project during her sixth grade experience at East Auburn Community School, and is the recipient of the 2018 Auburn Book Award.

The Auburn Book Project, open to Auburn’s grade six students, is designed to promote young authors’ work and creativity while simulating the world of book publishing. Students write and illustrate original books while preparing layouts and “book dummies” during the brainstorming stage, followed by revisions and editing while adhering to project guidelines, meeting deadlines and submitting their handmade books to the contest.

A team of judges with representatives from libraries and bookstores, along with art and literacy specialists, determine the finalists and one winning entry. The winning book is published by Curry Printing in Auburn, and copies are presented to all Auburn elementary school libraries and the Auburn Public Library. Her book titled “The Great Challenge” depicts a young boy, named Orgam, who is seeking the love and respect of his family. The King of Japan has recently died and everyone wants to know who will replace him. Orgam decides to prove to himself, and to others, that he is worthy of their respect.

The idea for Garcia’s book came from her interest in the Japanese art form of origami. After research and practice, she learned how to create the paper folded sculptures featured in her book’s illustrations. Her book is dedicated to her sister Natalie for “giving her inspiration.”

Garcia enjoys swimming, running, soccer, reading, drawing, and spending time outside. She is a member of the AMS soccer team, the LAYSA travel team, and the Twin City Swim Team. Her future plans include running track, writing historical fiction and exploring work with math applications.

Katharine Garcia, winner of this year’s Auburn Book Project, was given a key to the city by Auburn Mayor Jason J. Levesque at a City Council meeting on Oct. 1. Garcia will be at the Auburn Public Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, to sign copies of her book.

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