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The Little Read 2016


Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne

The Littler Read 2016 Authors

Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 12 o’clock noon

P.E. Monroe Auditorium


Internationally produced and published playwright, book author, and respected director, teacher, and actor, Will Osborne traces his interest in theater back to the very first time he saw a play performed live onstage nearly fifty years ago. The play? Look Homeward, Angel at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Will’s play Smoke & Mirrors, a comic murder mystery co-authored with Anthony Herrera, has been produced internationally. In 2007, collaborating with Randy Courts, he provided lyrics for Magic Tree House: The Musical, a full-scale, Broadway-style family musical that traveled to fifty-four U.S. cities and later throughout Germany. Will’s writing for musical theater also includes Saddle Jazz, a Western swing musical; The Wonderful O, an adaptation of the James Thurber novella; Manifest Destiny, a National Endowment for the Arts-funded extravaganza set in 1840s America; and four musical adaptations of Magic Tree House books licensed by Music Theatre International for performance by school-aged children. Will has authored more than a dozen books for children and young adults, many co-written with his wife, Mary Pope Osborne, including the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series; two retellings of Greek mythology; A Time to Dance for the My America series; and a picture book, Sleeping Bobby, with award-winning illustrator Giselle Potter. He has also created several highly acclaimed multi-media shows for the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, two of which featured William Shatner and the late Walter Cronkite. Will is a member of the Dramatists Guild; a founder of The Writers Group in New York; a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC Chapel Hill; and lead vocalist and guitarist for the blues/R&B group WillPower.

Mary Pope Osborne is known for the highly imaginative and successful Magic Tree House series, which won a Lifetime Achievement Award. She has published nearly 50 books in the series, which has been translated into over 30 languages and has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. She has also authored numerous young adult books, including Haunted Waters; Adaline Falling Star; and Run, Run as Fast as You Can.


Teaching Materials


Mission Statement

The primary goals and objectives of The Little Read are:  to provide a meaningful literacy and arts experience for the elementary teachers, students, and families in Catawba and Alexander County; to provide every 2nd grade student (2500)  in Hickory City Schools, Newton-Conover Schools, Catawba County Schools and Alexander schools with the own, personal copy of a book by Osborne;  to provide the participating teachers  unique and user-friendly curricular materials for Osborne’s books  that meet North Carolina Department of Education Course of Study guidelines; to provide Lenoir-Rhyne University Education majors the opportunity to work with experienced teachers to produce the curricular materials for Little Read teachers; to provide other programs at Lenoir-Rhyne , such as the theatre and music programs, with the opportunity to develop performances or exhibitions that emerge from their departmental course work and connect them with the elementary students and the general public in a professional setting.


Visiting Writers Series

2015-2016 Season:
Jaki Shelton Green
Jeff Hobbs
Chuck Klosterman
Garrison Keillor
Anne Lamott
Paul Muldoon
Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne


Everything you need to apply for admission is right here.