Author to visit schools, library

ST. CLAIRSVILLE On Wednesday, St. Clairsville High School and Middle School will play host to author Robin Yocum.

Yocum is an Ohio Valley native, born in Steubenville and raised in Brilliant. He worked various jobs before earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University.

Early in his career, he worked for The Times Leader and the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette before moving on to the Columbus Dispatch. Yocum now lives in Westerville and owns a communications company.

Yocum has published four books, two of which are novels and two of which are nonfiction. His first novel, “Favorite Sons,” was a USA Book News 2011 Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense. Yocum’s second novel, “The Essay,” has been a topic of study in Jacqui Sall’s eleventh-grade classroom. The book is about a seventeen-year-old boy from the wrong side of the tracks who wins the school essay-writing contest. Sall believed that the age of the protagonist and the local setting would make the book interesting for her students.

“It was an easy way for me to have the kids relate to a character,” she said. “It really hits home, and I think so many kids can identify with this character. He makes the characters so realistic and identifiable that the kids really get behind himAny educator who is looking for a book to promote reading for those kids that just don’t like to read, this is definitely a book they should try.”

Yocum will be putting in a full day’s work at the schools. He will conduct writer’s workshops for journalism students as well as seventh and eighth-grade students in Heidi Mooney’s reading classes. He will also read from The Essay and answer questions for Mooney’s students. Yocum will speak about his book and answer questions for Sall’s English students as well. He will discuss some of his life experiences, work, and background with all the involved classes.

“I think we both are wanting to rally behind him because he’s from the Valley, and this book is, as an educator, so inspirational,” said Mooney.

Also on Wednesday, Yocum will be at the St. Clairsville Public Library from 6 to 7 p.m. for a book reading and signing. He will have copies of his novels available to purchase for $20. Those interested in hearing Yocum speak are encouraged to call the library at 695-2062 to register.

Warner may be reached at