Karen English, author of "Francie," the story of an adolescent girl growing up in Depression Era Alabama who lives with her mother while her father works up north in the auto factories, will be in Holland on Thursday-Friday, Oct. 2-3, to meet with college classes, share her work with students at Harbor Lights School, and to hold a book signing for the community.

The author of nine novels and picture books, two of which will be published in 2004, Ms. English is an elementary teacher in the San Francisco area. Her books examine a range of issues for young people: family relationships, growing up, traditional tales, justice, and prejudice. Titles include "Speak to Me" (2004), "Hot Day on Abbott Avenue" (2004), "Strawberry Moon" (2001), "Speak English for Us, Marisol" (2000), "Francie" (1999), "Nadia's Hands" (1998), "Big Wind Coming" (1997), "Just Right Stew" (1997), and "Neeny Coming, Neeny Going" (1996).

On Thursday evening, Oct. 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., English will conduct a book signing at Tree House Books, 37 E. 8th St. The entire Holland community is invited to attend. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of books will go to CASA, the Children's After School Achievement program, based at Hope College.

During the morning of Friday, Oct. 3, English will work with middle school readers and writers at Harbor Lights School, West Ottawa. She will explore where stories come from, examine the act of writing, and help budding authors nurture and grow their own perspectives on the world.

English will participate in a variety of Hope classes under the sponsorship of the college's department of education and the Tensen Family Writing Fund on both Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2-3. She will talk with students about writing, literature for young people, story telling, and the writer's voice and perspective.