CRESTVIEW When Michael Sterns' grandmother read to him, she would get into character and allow him to follow along.


CRESTVIEW When Michael Sterns' grandmother read to him, she would get into character and allow him to follow along. 



The way she captured a book's excitement helped the Tampa man excel in reading and led him to become an author, he said.



"When I was a child, my grandmother made reading such a magical experience," he said.



Watch author Michael Sterns read to Riverside Elementary School students>>



Now, he tries to do the same for North Okaloosa students.



Sterns' books, including "Kokopelli & the Butterfly" and "Kokopelli and the Island of Change," follow the adventures of a native tribesman who shares the importance of love, peace and environmental awareness. 



His one-man show of the latter book capped Riverside Elementary School's Literacy Week.  



"We really try to encourage reading because it is the gateway to (students') future," Riverside media specialist Patty Davis said of an ongoing effort that surpasses the four-day initiative. "If they are reading, then they are learning more and more throughout their lives." 



Students seem to get the message.



"You can learn a lot of information from (reading)," fifth-grader Kalysta Laird, 10, said.



Her classmate, Gavin Vaccarello, 11, said books make it easier to understand different eras.



"You can picture a scene during that time period (with reading)," he said.



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.