Author Brings Message of Empowerment to SWHS


A solid crowd gathered in the little theater at the end of September to hear an inspiring talk from author Deb Caletti, author of A Heart in a Body in the World, a novel about a girl finding her voice.
Caletti grew up in the 70’s in California. Her home life was troubled and she felt alone without her books, which were her escape from reality.
“It was a door to a whole other world. They were a way for me to escape and I needed to escape, I kind of had a scary mom,” said Caletti to students who read the book.
Books made her feel more safe and secure. Then she discovered she had a talent for writing. She enjoyed writing so much she decided to take a creative writing course in college at the University of Washington, where she had intended to get her degree in journalism.
“If you don’t follow dreams, sometimes they follow you. I made a vow one day I would do this thing, whatever it took, and I begin, literally one day, I began to write,” said Caletti after realizing her true passion was creative writing.
As her life as a writer progressed, Caletti found herself in an abusive relationship with her now ex husband where she said she was mentally, and emotionally abused. She had two kids then she finally found the courage to get a divorce.
Caletti was told by her husband throughout their marriage that she would end up living in a tent if she were to continue down her path as a writer. After the divorce Caletti’s books were flying off shelves and she was nominated for awards. So now, whenever she accomplishes anything that once seemed impossible, she thinks to herself, “nice tent.”
Caletti advises all young people to spend more time reading, knowing first hand what kind of escape it can offer to those who are facing troubles in reality.
“I wanted to tell you that I too have gone through a place from powerlessness. I want to tell you that as a human being and a writer, believe in the power of a voice, even one voice, of your voice in particular, to make the kind of change that you want to see in our world. I believe in that, I still believe in that,” said Caletti.
The visit was well received by staff as well. “Deb Caletti and her visit soared above my wildest expectations. Despite being an award-winning author, she is honest and humble, generous and gracious,” said Linsey Kitchens, who organized the event and encouraged students to read the book over the summer. “Caletti’s message of grit and empowerment is one that would have spoken to every single student on our campus.”
Right now, the Skagit Reads book is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas The book is being read in Sydney Zabarauskas’ class. There are a few copies, and the e-book, left to check out at Central Skagit Library. A showing of the film will be held at the Lincoln Theatre at the end of October.