As the second installment in our Riglet Summer Reading Series, we caught up with Adam B. Ford, the author of Molly Rides, Illustrated by Brian Berley and published by H. Bar Press. Molly Rides is the story of a girl named Molly and her experience with snowboarding. This book is suited for reading ages 5-10 years.
How long have you been writing children’s stories?
I wrote my first children’s book in 2004 and started publishing them in 2012. I have written 13 books so far and have published 4 of them.
What inspired your children’s book about snowboarding?
I’ve been a snowboard instructor, trainer, and supervisor since 1997 and have a Level 2 Certification from the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI). The idea for Molly Rides came to me while driving home one day from Okemo Mountain Resort. It’s sort of rooted in the idea that snowboarders and skiers can coexist, an ethos championed by the Okemo Ski + Ride School.
What do you hope people take away from reading your book?
There’s a number of things that I think this book stresses. One, learning something new takes some work and practice, and a lesson from a professional can certainly help. Two, skiers and snowboarders can live side-by-side and it’s certainly cool to be able to do both. And three, winter is great, snow is awesome, and doing anything fun is the best thing ever.
What other books have you written and what inspired those stories?
The first book I published, The Six Sisters and Their Flying Carpets, was actually inspired in part by some of the teaching and learning styles that we cover in snowboard training clinics. It emphasizes that everyone has their own way of learning and no single way is right for everybody. Jam-Bo, Litta-Girl, and the Bullies is a fun book about standing up to bullies by being smart and using big words. Big Cat is a simple story of a housecat that roams the countryside, getting larger and larger as she does.
Tell us about your snowboarding journey- how has it impacted you?
I started skiing when I moved to New Mexico after college. Being a life-long skateboarder, snowboarding always intrigued me. My friend Travis offered to teach me to snowboard. We started at the top of Sandia Peak outside Albuquerque and I figured out how to turn after a few tries. Travis said “you got it! See you at the bottom!” and with a thumbs-up, took off. I made it halfway down the mountain before the dreaded toe-edge catch slammed me into the snow. I kept going and arrived at the bottom with a big smile on my face.
A few years later, Travis called me up and said he was driving up to Sandia Peak to see about being a snowboard instructor, so I went along and by Christmas week I was teaching beginners. By the end of that first season I’d obtained my Level 1 Certification. I taught and supervised at Sandia Peak for four years, later moving to Vermont where I eventually became one of the staff trainers at Okemo Mountain Resort.
Anything else you’d like to share with our Riglet Readers?
Molly Rides was published about a week before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where Kaitlyn Farrington won the Gold Medal in Women’s Halfpipe. There’s a page in the book that my illustrator, Brian Berley, drew, depicting Molly in the snow with kids on a chairlift laughing at her. After her win at Sochi, Kaitlyn gave an interview. She said a motivating factors of wanting to learn to snowboard was to show kids that had laughed at her from the lift, that she could do it. It was a serendipitous coming-together of reality and fiction.
About snowboarding in general, I’d have to say that it is peaceful, freeing, and fun! Don’t be afraid to start your kids early. And finally, one of the little joys of snowboarding: running up or down a flight of stairs in my snowboard boots next to people in ski boots. Ahhhhhhh….!!
Win a copy of Molly Rides!
You can purchase Molly Rides through Amazon.com. We’ll be giving away five copies throughout the summer as part of our Burton Riglet Summer Reading Series. To participate simply sign up for our Burton Riglet newsletter located on the bottom of our homepage. We will be drawing a few winners each month at random. Drawings end August 31st, 2016. Did you already sign up for our newsletter? No worries. We’ve pre-entered you into our drawing. Winners will be notified by email and will have 30 days to respond to claim their book. Enjoy your Riglet Summer Reading with your family.