History, art, movies and music. They all have something in common, said author Kristin Tripathy: words.

“When you think about it, a lot of our world stems from the written word,” she said.

It’s a message she hopes to spread at the 13th annual Hooked on Books ... and the Arts, Too! event, a celebration of literacy and the arts hosted by Eastern Carver County Community Education and the Carver County Library system.

The week leading up to the event, which is Saturday, Feb. 1 at Chanhassen High School, Tripathy will work with third-graders in the classroom. For four days, she will visit eight classrooms for 45 minutes each, leading writing workshops and communicating the importance of reading and writing.

The lesson?

“The power of just getting your voice out into the world with your own writing,” Tripathy said.


During the event, nearly two dozen activity stations will be set up for families including painting demonstrations and opera performances.

Hooked on Books is community supported, organizers said. The district is partnering with the library and other organizations to get the necessary legacy funding.

Lori Kendall, district communications specialist, said the team tries to mix up themes each year. Some years the event focuses on STEM topics; other years it’s nature or music.

“We try to vary it so that it’s not always women and not always the same theme of the book,” Kendall said.

This year, the theme is equity and kindness.

Tripathy, a 1995 Chaska High School grad, is working on her third children’s book. She said inspiration for her first book, “My Friend, Mi Amigo,” came from the classroom, and it’s why she teaches equity and inclusion to students when she can.

“Children who didn’t speak the same language (were) still finding ways to connect and communicate,” Tripathy said. “Young children aren’t born with biases and stereotypes and racism.”

The story also stemmed from somewhere close to home.

“I’m married to someone from India,” Tripathy said. “Me and my story kind of evolved through my relationship with my in-laws. We are (close) and we communicate within this barrier.”


The event hopes to bring in around 2,000 people, Kendall said.

“We hope that people not only have fun in the middle of February, but also can enjoy a variety of activities and see things that they may not have ever seen,” she said. “We hope that they can just come and celebrate the joy of reading and the arts.”

Hooked on Books is a free event and no registration is required. It goes from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be crafts, reading activities and music to both play and listen to.


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