Author Jennifer Jacobson of Woolwich will be among the authors at the Bath Book Bash this Saturday. Mikayla Patel / The Forecaster

Jennifer Jacobson, a Woolwich resident and author of several children’s and young adult books, realized her books had taken on a life of their own when she learned that, to the kids who read them, her characters are very real.

“There’s nothing more powerful than realizing that your book has this life without you,” said Jacobson whose work includes, “Twig and Turtle” and “Andy Shane.”

Jacobson will be among the children’s book authors and illustrators at the Bath Book Bash from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Library Park. The free event brings writers and artists together and gives them a chance to meet their young readers – and their not-so-young readers – one-on-one.

Children’s books have an impact regardless of the age of the reader, Jacobson said.

“The love of children’s books is intergenerational,” she told The Forecaster in an interview this week.

The Book Bash includes panel discussions and workshops.


“Reading is a really social event,” Jacobson said. “We love talking about the books we enjoy and when kids come to the Book Bash, they get the opportunity to be in that social situation where there are others there that love the books they also love.”

One highly anticipated event is the Draw-Off, during which illustrators will be given drawing prompts, and a panel of kid judges will decide whose is the best.

Sheryl Ritchie, event chairperson, said she’s dedicated much of her life to getting children interested in reading, including starting a Books on the Bus a program a few years ago for kids on their way to and from school.

“I realized we have an abundance of talented children’s literature authors in Maine,” she said, and that  inspired her to bring them together for Book Bash.

This is the second in-person Book Bash, with 1,000 people attending last year’s event. This year, Ritchie said she’s hopeful that number will increase.

“There’s been more buzz this year as we have so many talented authors,” said Ritchie. She added that the number of authors has gone up from 20 last year to 27 this year.


Alexandra Hinrichs, author of “Thérèse Makes a Tapestry,” and “The Traveling Camera: Lewis Hine and the Fight to End Child Labor,” will be returning for her second year.

Alexandra Hinrichs, seated at right, at the 2021 Bath Book Bash. Contributed / Alexandra Hinrichs

“I have always wanted to write children’s books and despite that, I got into it in a roundabout way and for many years assumed it was just a dream that wouldn’t actually happen,” said Hinrichs.

Hinrichs was on track to a Ph.D. in U.S. foreign relations when she decided to refocus on the history of childhood and take children’s literature classes. She now works as a librarian in Old Town.

At last year’s Book Bash a young girl “saw one of my books and grabbed her mom with her eyes glued on the cover, and I could see this instant connection that she needed that book. That was really special,” Hinrichs said.

“This is an incredible opportunity for young readers to see both the people behind the books they love and an opportunity to see new books and their makers,” she said. “We’re in a moment where books have become the center of controversy and seen as divisive, so to have them bring people together as a community is really wonderful.”

Jacobson studied to be a teacher, and along the way fell in love with children’s books. “They give me the opportunity to re-raise myself,” she said. “A lot of the material that I put in my children’s books comes from my own childhood, only I’m able to give the kids in my books happier endings.”


Samara Doyon, author of “Magic Like That and Magnificent Homespun Brown,” said during her graduate writing program, “I started looking at children’s books in a new light and how they could be a powerful tool to help kids see themselves in a beautiful and empowering light.”

Doyon is a lifelong resident of Maine and this will be her second year participating in the Book Bash.

She said she loves “watching kids’ faces light up when they see something in my book they can identify with,” adding, “I hope my books will continue to help kids see themselves and their communities in a positive light.”

“Especially for kids, meeting an author can have a lasting impact,” Ritchie said. “For them to realize there’s an actual person who wrote the book that they read, that can develop a lifelong reader.”

The event will also feature four food trucks and music. For more information, visit

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