The retired educator will first share her children's book "The Mystery of the Missing Season" with children attending the library's Story Time Tuesday. The event will take place in the Kid's Zone at 11:15 a.m.
A book-signing featuring Woods and "The Mystery of the Missing Season" will also take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The event will take place in the library's community room from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Although she retired after teaching for 30 years in the Dyer County School System, Woods is far from through educating youngsters. She has remained a substitute/ reading intervention teacher in the county system since she stopped working full time.
Writing has been a constant in Woods' life and a tool she used in her classroom throughout her teaching career. Using her own stories to illustrate teaching points when no other books were available, Woods also encouraged her students to express their creativity through the written word. Now, as she holds her first published children's book in her hands, she is also discovering the thrill of seeing one of her own dreams come true.
"I've written all my life," said Woods. "I had an imaginary friend that I would write letters to. I tell kids it's OK to write to an imaginary person. Sometimes it helps to put your feelings down in words."
"The Mystery of the Missing Season" was born in one of Woods' first-grade classes, when she learned that one of her students was a Leap Year baby.
"I wrote it 20 years ago," said Woods. "I kept asking the other teachers if there were any books on Leap Year. Then I thought, 'I'll just write one.' I wrote it on a level that I thought first-graders could understand. But it teaches so much more than just the seasons."
In "The Mystery of the Missing Season," Winter is tired. It's been a long season and the animals are almost out of food. As he waits for Spring to arrive, Winter shares his concerns with Summer and Fall. Soon, Fall begins a quest to solve the mystery of the missing season, finding Spring in a place that surprises everyone involved.
In addition to offering an opportunity to discuss how animals fare through the harsh winter months, Woods' book explores relationships, bullying, using kind words and, of course, the reason Leap Year occurs once every four years.
When one of the characters apologizes, Woods takes the opportunity to talk about the importance of saying 'I'm sorry.' For older children, the concepts of jealousy and bullying can be also discussed -- as well as the importance of supporting others in trying times.
Woods has several more picture books completed, with two more slated to come out in late 2014.
"The Mystery of the Missing Season" is available for $11, with a Color Me book on sale for $7. Tate Publishing also has eLive capabilities that allow the book to be used in a classroom listening center.