Author’s story set during the Seattle World’s Fair
If you didn’t live through the 1962 World’s Fair, author Jim Lynch can tell you all about how it transformed Seattle.
Lynch, author of “Truth Like the Sun,” is the keynote speaker at the 21st annual Mukilteo Schools Foundation fundraising breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Kamiak High School.
He will tell about his career first as a reporter and then as an author, the influence a good teacher had on him, and read a passage or two from his third book, “Truth Like the Sun.”
“Truth Like the Sun” revolves around the Seattle World's Fair. It is a cat-and-mouse story of urban intrigue in Seattle both in 1962, when it hosted the World's Fair, and in 2001, after its transformation in the Microsoft era.
“I wanted to write a novel that captured Seattle, at least my version of the city,” he said. “So I started researching the transformative 1962 World's Fair, and the characters and premise emerged.”
Lynch, of Olympia, has also written “The Highest Tide” and “Border Songs,” which have won several awards. All three of Lynch’s books are set in Western Washington.
“Truth Like the Sun” is one of a New York Times reviewer’s Top 10 favorite books of 2012. It is also a finalist for the Dashiell Hammett Prize, awarded to a U.S. or Canadian author for best crime fiction.
Lynch grew up in the Seattle area and graduated from the University of Washington before working as a reporter for newspapers in Alaska, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Closer to home, he also wrote for the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the Portland Oregonian and The Seattle Times.
Lynch joins a long list of well-known local authors to speak at the breakfast. Kent Hartman, author of “The Wrecking Crew,” spoke last year.
The Mukilteo Schools Foundation, founded in 1992, promotes community involvement and commitment to education in the Mukilteo schools. Its fundraisers support excellence, innovation and creativity in the classroom.
Proceeds from the breakfast will go to the foundation’s grants, scholarships and a new program that will send students on field trips to local organizations to create an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
“It’s a huge initiative with education nationwide,” said Nicole McGowan, foundation president. “Schools really need to focus on these types of programs. They’re trying to enrich the education in math and in science in particular. There’s a real need.”
The foundation is working with STEM partners – The Boeing Co., the Historic Flight Foundation, Flying Heritage Collection, the Future of Flight Museum and Foundation and the Imagine Children’s Museum – to develop STEM curriculum and field trips.
“The best thing to do is to get kids involved at a younger age and expose them to these [subjects] so they have an idea of what is available to them,” McGowan said. “It’s through this program that we might light the fire that gets them interested in being an engineer or in math or science as a career.”
Though Lynch is no STEM major, all three of his books are filled with science and math – subjects he had to study to be able to write about them.
“I’m a big fan of exploring the natural world though science,” he said. “The closer you look at nature, the more fascinating it gets, and the closer you look at, it the more you understand the elements and value of science.”
Lynch said STEM programs would help give Mukilteo School District students a competitive edge in the world.
“That’s where the jobs are and the future seems to be, particularly on an international level,” he said. “It’s very smart. It makes sense.”
Last year’s breakfast raised $50,000, which funded six college scholarships and grants to 35 teachers in each of the district’s 18 schools.
This year's emcee for the breakfast is longtime Mariners announcer Rick Rizzs.
The breakfast is scheduled for 7:30-9 a.m. in the Kamiak High School Commons, at 10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd. in Mukilteo.
Tickets are $50 per person or $375 for a group of eight, and are available online or at the door.
For more information, or to buy tickets, go to www.mukilteoschoolsfoundation.org.