Kelly Oliva grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, and was destined to love books because she was born to two loving book-nerds. As a kid, Kelly had the opportunity to travel to lots of new and thrilling places, both real and fictional, so, after high school, she eagerly accepted a field hockey scholarship to attend Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, and moved 2000 miles away from her hometown!
Kelly graduated Lindenwood with a degree in English and certification to teach grades 9-12, and accepted a teaching job in the Wentzville School District. After three years as an English teacher, Kelly felt disconnected from the reason why she’d become a teacher of literature: to share her love of reading! She jumped at the chance to move into the library and pursue a master’s degree in library information science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. As a library-media specialist, Kelly has dedicated herself to making the library into the “living room” of the school, a place where all students feel comfortable and welcome. Her current library has exercise bikes, green screen rooms and a genrefied collection. If you visit, you’re likely to spot students playing volleyball with recycled materials, learning how to use a new animation app, or trying computer coding for the first time.
While Kelly loves her ever-changing role as a school library-media specialist, in 2017, she was itching to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. While reading Jeff Zentner’s book, Goodbye Days, Kelly had an exciting idea for a book blog: she could pick out and review her favorite books, identify experiences had by these characters that intrigued her, and then carry out similar experiences herself. Some of Kelly’s most memorable Plot Driven Life experiences include her terrifying horseback trail ride, her Jack the Ripper documentary party, and connecting to her dad’s birth family through Ancestry.com. An expanding introvert, Kelly loves the fact that the blog pushes her out of her comfort zone and allows her the opportunity to speak to audiences of teens and adults about how great books have impacted her life.
Here are some of my favorite Plot Driven Experiences. They have ranged from small gatherings to large-scale, life impacting experiences. Each one has made a difference in my life — and I hope in yours, too.