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Best Selling Author and Joplin Native Makes a Trip Back Home - KOAM TV 7

Best Selling Author and Joplin Native Makes a Trip Back Home

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

This group of elementary students is armed with questions and ready to be inspired, like Ezekiel and his brother Hunter.
 "It was fun. We got to hear a little bit about his life and about his books" says 9-year-old Ezekiel Chew.
 "It's just been a really fabulous opportunity to see someone that is so successful that hails from their hometown" says Tammie Bengham from the Joplin Public Library.
Born in Joplin, Loren long made this trip back to share his experiences as an author and illustrator with kids starting life in the same city he did.
 "Kids in Missouri, I live in Ohio now. I live in Cincinnati. So it's important for me to tell these kids that aren't from New York or Los Angeles that those cities need us. They need our talents" says Loren Long.
"Not a lot of authors or people who write books or anything never are really from Joplin. They're from bigger states" says Ezekiel.
Some of Loren's best known work is his illustrations for the book former President Barack Obama wrote for his daughters and his very own book Otis and the Tornado. Although he wrote it before the Joplin tornado happened, it's a way of explaining the event to younger kids.
"What better place to explore real tragedy than in the lap of somebody who loves you, reading it from a children's book" says Loren.
And although not all of these kids will become best selling authors, more than 500 of these Joplin students know some great work can come from some unexpected places. 

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