Guest authors typically read from their own works when visiting pupils at schools.
Not Kathleen Duey.
The writer of nearly 60 children's novels prefers to impart life lessons about literature and history.
"Books will teach you about your heart," she told fourth- and fifth-graders at River Ridge Elementary School on Wednesday. "Nonfiction will teach you about the world."
Duey, 55, spoke with pupils at River Ridge, Stevens Creek, Westmont, South Columbia and Bel Air elementary schools this past week.
Duey, the author of such children's fantasy series as Time Soldiers and The Unicorn's Secret, expressed a fondness for her Hoofbeats series.
Set about 800 years ago in Ireland, the series follows the travels of a young girl searching for her stolen horse. In her search, she learns much about herself and the world around her, said Duey, who grew up on a farm in Colorado.
A self-proclaimed lover of all things equine, Duey told the students that a writer must truly care for what she is writing to convey the necessary emotion that ensnares a reader's imagination.
"If you find something in your life you really love, it will pull you out of your little world if you let it," she said.
Duey now lives in Southern California and never attended college. She said her higher education came from the library.
She urged the pupils to discover their interest, whether it be sports, history or whatever else, and read all they can about it.
"I don't think you can be completely human if you don't read well," she said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.