Author speaks with middle school students in Kennewick

<p>Gary Soto</p>

Gary Soto

An author and playwright from California comes to Kennewick to encourage students to read, and give them hope that they can achieve their goals.

Gary Soto spoke with Park Middle School students at Kennewick High School this morning.

The middle school students are performing one of Soto's plays tonight called "Novio Boy".

The play is about a 9th grade boy who prepares for a date with an 11th grade girl.

Soto says he wants students to know that despite poverty and prejudice, they can be successful, and reading plays a big role in that.

"Being a reader is so important because it branches off to other avenues of thinking. And reading is so basic for anything from science to chemistry to history to government and so on. So if you don't read, then you're not advancing" said Soto.

Tonight's play starts at 6 PM at Park Middle School.

Soto has written eleven poetry collections for adults as well - one of those was a finalist for the National Book Award.