Niles Public Library hosted its Battle of the Books Awards Ceremony Friday night, Feb. 7, with help from the author of Kimchi and Calamari and Rocky Road: Rose Kent, ex-naval officer, Kraft Foods employee, and business writer turned bestselling children’s author.

Not the usual career path (if there is such a thing). Anyway, it all started in the third grade when a teacher, impressed by a poem Rose Kent had written, told her, “You know, Rose, you are a writer.” She didn’t especially believe it, and didn’t actively pursue that vocation for a couple of decades, but it made an impression.

It came as no surprise to her mother when the third grader raced home: “She just asked me, ‘Who do think has been using all that loose leaf paper?,’” said Kent. A self-professed “freckle-faced, shy kid at school,” Kent would come home, grab handfuls of paper, and start writing. Her stories featured bold characters (not like the shy person she felt herself to be) having amazing adventures all over the world. “It was my way of making sense of things,” she says.

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