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Amelia Bedelia to make appearance at Statesboro library Saturday

    Everybody’s favorite mixed-up maid, Amelia Bedelia, will make a special appearance at the Statesboro Regional Library on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 10:30 a.m. to help our community celebrate Children’s Book Week, Nov. 12-17.
    Children’s Book Week is set aside annually to celebrate children and reading. The theme for the 88th year is “Rise Up Reading,” and schools, libraries and communities will join in promoting the idea that reading is not a solitary, stationary activity. Children cannot “Rise Up” to this challenge without many, many hours of reading practice, and it’s impossible for anyone to read that much without first developing a love of reading.
    Portraying Amelia Bedelia is a special labor of love for Statesboro native Amy Smith Beaucham. Amy is the daughter of Libba Smith, and has been interpreting the literal-minded literary character for several years. Her job with the Griffin, Ga., school system allows her to travel with her one-woman show, called “Amelia Bedelia, This is Your Life!”
    The books usually deal with Amelia, who is a maid for a wealthy family, the Rogers, botching her assignments by taking her instructions literally. For example, she will be told to dust the furniture and will throw talcum powder all over the furniture (the box does say “Dusting Powder”), or dress the turkey by making it an outfit (“I wonder if she wants a boy or a girl?”). No matter how outrageous her mistakes, however, her extraordinary cooking always saves her from real trouble with her employers.
    During the program, children will see Amelia act out several scenes from books including running over a tablecloth with an iron, from "Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower," according to Elaine McDuffie, Youth Services librarian.
    McDuffie added, “We are thrilled to bring Amy home to Statesboro for this program. I remember reading Amelia Bedelia books as a child, and I have read them to my niece, and my granddaughter. They can’t wait to meet Amelia in person!”
    The first Amelia Bedelia book was published in 1963, and the early books were written by Peggy Parish. When Peggy died in 1988, her nephew, Herman Parish, revived the series beginning in 1995. Thus a new generation has grown up with the 24 books in both series.
    The library has several events planned for this special week, as Children’s Book Week is also National Education Week and International Studies Week.
    This event is free and open to the public. If you would like more information on library events, please call the Youth Services Department at (912) 764-1344 or 764-1345.

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