Meet the "Fat Kid Rules the World" Author

Young adult fiction writer K. L. Going will be on campus for speech and book signing Oct. 2.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2012) – The Hipple Collection of Young Adult Literature is one of the University of South Florida Library’s many treasures used by future and current English teachers, researchers, budding authors and people simply interested in the genre.


In support of this part of the library’s Special & Digital Collections, the USF community will have the opportunity to meet an author whose work is featured there. 


K. L. Going, author of "Fat Kid Rules the World," which has just been adapted for film, will be speaking and signing books in the Library’s Grace Allen Room Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m.


Her visit follows the screening of the independent PG-13 production of her story at Ybor Muvico the night before, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10. It received the Audience Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival and has earned many glowing reviews.


Going’s talk at USF is free and open to the public.


The award-winning author of numerous books for children and teens, Going’s first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World, was named a Michael Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association. It was included on the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Best Books for Young Adults list and its list of Best Books for the Past Decade. It also made the picks and selections lists of Booksense, Scholastic Book Club, Junior Library Guild and NY Public Library’s Best Books for the Teen Age. Her work has been highlighted by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Children’s Book Council as a Best Book of the Year and has been published in Korea, Italy, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.  

The library’s collection of young adult literature contains 2579 autographed works. Among them are advanced reading copies and first editions as well as audiobooks, an e-book, more than a dozen graphic novels, 50 nonfiction works, 81 manuscripts prior to publication, 849 paperbacks and upwards of 28 New York Times bestsellers. There are also books of poetry, textbooks and even autographed videos. 

The collection was started with 333 autographed books. Most of them were donated by the two, now grown, sons of USF Professor of English Education Joan Kaywell and was named for Theodore “Ted” Hipple, her cherished mentor.

Hipple was one of the founders of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and served as its president and executive secretary. He was the first recipient of the organization’s service award which was named in his honor in 2000. He was presented the Florida Council Teachers of English Honor Award in 1980, that organization’s most prestigious, for notable service to advance the teaching of the language arts in Florida.  He was a prolific writer who published numerous books and journal articles.  Kaywell considers herself his protégé. She, too, has received the FCTE Honor Award, has served as ALAN’s president and membership secretary and is scheduled to receive the Hupple Award in November at the annual ALAN breakfast.

Kaywell has worked diligently to encourage the generosity of authors and their publishers to work with her in building a distinctive collection. She says that ALAN was also instrumental in helping her make important connections.

“What makes this collection unique is that most everything in it is autographed by the author,” she said. “I’m trying to collect the manuscript, the ARC, the first edition, and subsequent paperbacks of as many books of each author as I can. In that way, people can see the life of a book. It’s been a lot of work but it’s also a lot of fun and very satisfying. I think Ted would be well pleased. And this is a fitting tribute because so many people were positively influenced by his passion for teaching, integrity, life and service.

“The USF Library is doing an excellent job of preserving these books for perpetuity while also keeping them available for people’s access,” added Kaywell, an author herself of Dear Author: Letters of Hope. 

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.