This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's not every day that kids meet the author of a popular children's book.
But for students in Davis County School District, that's exactly what happens.
Matthew J. Kirby, a school psychologist at Sand Springs and Mountain View elementary schools in Layton, recently published his first children's novel, "The Clockwork Three." Kirby loves to make special visits to school classrooms to discuss the book, and regularly answers e-mails from readers with questions about the book and its characters.
Linda Witkamp, a fourth-grade teacher at Layton's EG King Elementary School, has provided several copies of the book for her classroom library. Witkamp said she preferred Kirby's book over a Newberry Award winner she recently read.
Wendy Thorson, a special education teacher at EG King, enjoyed reading the book to her class. One of her students was ecstatic about meeting a "real live author," she said.
"The most gratifying thing is the fact that I get to interact on a daily basis with kids who have read the book," Kirby said. "I have kids come by my office almost every day to tell me that they are reading it, and that they're enjoying it."
"The Clockwork Three" is set in the late 1800s in a fictional American city. It chronicles adventures of three characters who are brought together by an enchanted violin, a hidden treasure and a clockwork man that comes to life.
"'The Clockwork Three' is, at its heart, an adventure story. There's a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of fantasy, and a little bit of historical fiction to it," Kirby said. "It's a mix of several genres, which I hope means there is something there for everybody."
For more information, visit matthewjkirby.com.