Heard Libraries to support ‘Dare to Be Me’ book events for young readers, hosting an author reading Oct. 23 and sponsoring elementary school outreach Nov. 3

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries will welcome children’s authors Kaci Bolls and Nathan Meckel on Oct. 23 for a reading and songs from their new book Dare to Be Me (The Collective Book Studio, 2023). The event, which is co-sponsored by the Susan Gray School and the Vanderbilt Child and Family Center, will take place in Peabody Library’s Fireside Reading Room from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. A book signing will follow from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Snacks will be provided, and books will be available to purchase at a discount rate.

In Dare to Be Me, children are encouraged to face the world as their authentic selves. With text and rhythm by Bolls and Meckel, and vibrant illustrations by Ana Martín Larrañaga, this “start-your-day” story helps young readers brave the most essential part of every day: being themselves, and nobody else.

Learn more and register for the Oct 23 event.

Additionally, the Heard Libraries are sponsoring a Dare to Be Me event on Nov. 3 in partnership with Nashville’s Eakin Elementary School. Bolls and Meckel will read and perform at the school, and the libraries will provide copies of the book to all its kindergarten and first-grade students.

About the Authors

Kaci Bolls was recognized in 2021 as one of Metro Nashville Public Schools’ top elementary teachers. She is a children’s music artist with multiple SiriusXM top 10 hits including the No. 1 song “Dare to Be Me,” which was licensed by Malcolm Gladwell for his podcast Revisionist History. Prior to becoming a kindergarten teacher, Bolls spent over a decade working with country music’s finest musicians and songwriters as a session and backup singer and songwriter.

Nathan Meckel’s music appears on dozens of albums and in over 40 films and television shows. He has performed at Lincoln Center and co-written songs for kids with children’s authors Peter Reynolds, Susan Verde and Barbara Joosse. “Dare To Be Me,” co-written with Kaci Bolls, reached No. 1 on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live and was featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History. Meckel is also an award-winning music video director and co-founder of the film production company Stereophonic Films.

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