BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Young readers will get the chance to meet an Alabama author at a book signing event this weekend.

Bessemer native Tonja McKelvey will hold a meet and greet at Southside Homes A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. It is a free event that is open to the public.

Presented by the Bessemer Housing Authority, the event is designed to encourage reading and introduce children to an author from their community.

McKelvey’s first book, “How Will I Get Through My 1st Day of School?”, is about a little girl who is anxious about her first day of school. The second book, “Tag Along With Me And See How the Rest of My Year Will Be!”, follows up on the girl’s journey to the classroom and her new school.

Both of McKelvey’s books were published last summer. She is a former reading instructor for kindergarteners and 1st graders and is currently a 4th-grade reading tutor for the Birmingham Board of Education.

“What inspired me to become an author is that I love to read and write, especially poetry. I loved working in the school system, with children, helping them with hands-on contact with reading,” McKelvey stated in a press release. “My inspiration came from my childhood when I needed an outlet to express my feelings. I was timid and bullied in elementary school, therefore, I can relate well with the character in the book, about being nervous.”