Chris Barton book signing

Author Chris Barton signs a few books for Sabrina Rivera and her son Joshua at Barnes & Noble in the Market Heights Shopping Center on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

Gabe Wolf | Herald

Popular bestselling children’s author, Chris Barton, stopped at Barnes & Noble book store in Heights Market Place for a book signing on Jan. 17.

The Sulphur Springs native attracted children, adults and educators eager to get a personalized copy of one of his books.

“Whoosh!” tells the story of Lonnie Johnson, the African-American inventor of the super-soaker spray gun. It was the book choice for Joshua Rivera, 10.

Barton wrote, “Make a splash,” to his young fan. Sabrina Rivera, his mom, is also a library aide at House Creek Elementary School.

“His books are very entertaining for children to read,” she said.

Barton visited four Copperas Cove schools last week, marking his second trip to the area after visiting schools in Killeen in December 2017.

“The response from students has been great from both school districts,” Barton said. “It’s my favorite part of writing when I get to meet young readers.”

Some new readers showed up surprised to meet the author. Rashmi Bhakta brought son Parker Mohan, 6, for their usual bookstore trip and purchased one for 200 him to sign.

“We don’t know what the book is about but we’re excited to read it,” Bhakta said.

Barton is the author of 13 picture books, including “Shark Vs. Train,” “The Day-Glo Brothers” and “The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch,” among others.

His latest nonfiction books include “Dazzle Ships: World War I” and an upcoming biography of Texan politician Barbara Jordan.

He writes a mixture of fiction and nonfiction books aimed at youth but adults enjoy them, like Sharae Robinson, a fourth-grade teacher at Brookhaven Elementary School.

“My students were amazed when they heard from a published Texas author; it was inspiring for them,” Robinson said.

Barton visits schools by the score — more than 20 in 2017 — and is passionate about encouraging young readers and writers.

Barton’s wife is also a novelist, Jennifer Ziegler, author of “Revenge of the Flower Girls” and

How Not to Be Popular.”

Since childhood, Chris Barton knew he would make writing his career.

“I want to humanize authors to children and make writing tangible to them,” he said. “Whether it’s writing or something else, I hope they understand there is something they can do with their lives and be passionate about it.”

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