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City Adventure Books
Emerald Ridge Librarian Nancy Glen is an award-winning author
Posted on 12/03/2019
Emerald Ridge Librarian Nancy Glen is an award-winning author

If you want to learn about Tacoma and where to go for adventure, just ask Emerald Ridge Librarian Nancy Glen. She wrote the book on it.

Tacoma AdventuresAn award-winning author, Glen and her sister Julia Glen recently published “Tacoma Adventures.” The read aloud book features animals as the characters. One of the main characters is a raccoon named Stuart whose class is writing reports about interesting cities in Washington State. As they take turns drawing from a hat to choose a city, Stuart ends up with Tacoma. He gasps and puts his head down on his desk wondering why he didn’t get a more exciting city like the Capital in Olympia or Seattle. When Stuart goes home and tells his grandpa things take an unexpected turn and the adventure begins.

The Tacoma book is one of four City Adventure Books published by the Glen sisters. Nancy Glen is the author and Julia Glen is the illustrator. In each of the books, animal friends travel throughout the city as they learn about history and explore fun and interesting places to visit.

The books are third-grade reading level. ”For read aloud it’s for all ages. As a librarian I would read it to all kids.  I would stop and ask, ‘What does this mean?’”, says Glen.

Tacoma AdventuresOne page has the name and address of each attraction featured with a check box next to it so students or families can have their own adventures and mark off the places they visit.

A percentage of proceeds from the books are donated to literacy projects.

Julia Glen resides in California and the sisters began the project in August 2018. The first three City Adventure books feature California cities Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Oceanside. As the books grow in popularity, Glen says they are receiving requests by other cities to publish a book for them.

“It’s just taken off and I can’t believe it. It was my sister’s idea. She was volunteering in a reading group in California and wanted to give something back. A portion of the proceeds from the books go to literacy programs.”
Emerald Ridge librarian and author Nancy Glen

The books were doing so well in California Glen suggested they come back home to Washington and look at the Pacific Northwest. Next on the list are Puyallup and Olympia. The Puyallup book is scheduled to be available in February 2020. Glen says she received input from her students for places to highlight in Puyallup.

The Glen sisters grew up in Puyallup where they attended Waller Road Elementary and Aylen Junior High and then attended high school in Tacoma at Bellarmine Prepartory. Nancy Glen has been a teacher for 22 years, 13 of those in Puyallup. She is an English major and although she had done a little writing, she says she didn’t see herself as an author and had not published books before.

There have been challenges as they learned how to publish and market their own books. They had to learn how to handle the taxes, find a company to print the books, and start a website. “We’re learning as we go. We are doing it ourselves and are self-published. We’re trying to find a way to fund it,” says Glen.

As word gets out and popularity grows, the books are receiving a lot of local interest. They have been highlighted recently by Tacoma News Tribune, National Public Radio, and Evening Magazine. The first book won the San Diego Book Award.

To learn more and find out how to purchase the books visit