I Am Silver Spring: 'American Girl' Author Valerie Tripp
Let's explore this town and the creative minds that call Silver Spring home.
Silver Spring is an extremely unique place with people from all over the world.
We want you to meet your neighbors in our new feature called I Am Silver Spring. These stories will feature people who have decided to make Silver Spring their home.
This week we feature author Valerie Tripp, a long-time resident of the White Oak neighborhood. She has penned many books for children, including the American Girl characters Felicity, Elizabeth, Josefina, Samantha, Nellie, Kit, Ruthie, Emily and Molly.
Hometown? Mt. Kisco, NY
When did you move to Silver Spring? 1986
What do you do? I’m a writer. I write many books of historical fiction for the American Girl collection. I write books for boys as part of the Boys Camp series and I also write material to help children learn how to read for the Rowland Reading Foundation.
What makes Silver Spring unique? I think what’s unique about it and what I like about it the best is how colorful and diverse it is. I feel as though anything you would want or need, you can find right here in Silver Spring.
What do you enjoy doing the most in Silver Spring? I love going to AFI. I feel we’re so incredibly fortunate to have the AFI movie theater here in Silver Spring. I love going to the public libraries—the White Oak library is just essential to my work and a wonderful place to go. I love going to the local restaurants like Mi Rancho or Mandalay or all those great restaurants within walking distance of each other in downtown Silver Spring. I love that!
I also love going to my local Giant. I go to the White Oak Giant. Especially if you go on a Sunday, you’ll hear French, Spanish, you’ll hear Chinese being spoken, Hindi, you’ll hear Farsi being spoken. You’ll see people wearing saris, you’ll see people wearing dashikis, you’ll see kids in their team uniforms, so you have this sense of how marvelously different everyone in this community is, but also how we’re one community.
What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about children and their education. I feel as though education—and the Montgomery County Public Schools strives to do this—to provide every child with his or her big chance. School is what can really make a difference in a child’s life and I think the schools that we have here try really hard to provide every child with what every child needs. I feel very passionately about that—children’s growth and how we need to nurture them and make them feel safe at the same time that we’re letting them go and letting them free to have a variety of wonderful experiences.
What is your favorite book? Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White because it's beautiful and funny and sad and timeless and written with such clarity and such affection for the characters. It’s a fine, fine, fine piece of work. I go back and re-read it every year.