Ellen Klein, Owner discovered a talent for bookselling at A Likely Story, where she specialized in books that had languished on the shelves for a decade or more. “Not all books can be New York Times bestsellers,” she points out, “but every book has the potential to be perfect for someone.”
Her childhood favorites were the dictionary, encyclopaedia, and world atlas, because her mother often answered Ellen’s questions by saying, “Look it up!” Her personal library is mostly nonfiction, but she reads fiction voraciously, with 10 or more books going at once.
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, she attended the University of Pennsylvania as a Benjamin Franklin National Scholar, simultaneously earning a BA and MA in the History & Sociology of Science (think Steampunk). After spending the better part of a year backpacking through Europe, she concurrently earned a JD from New York University (she’s a member of the DC Bar) and MPA (International Relations) from Princeton University.
Her first love, however, is archaeology. Since age 15, she’s worked on numerous digs in the US, England, and Kenya, and, after moving here in 1983, served on the Alexandria Archaeology Commission, Historic Alexandria Resources Commission, and Alexandria Open Space Easements Task Force.
Totally committed to the community, she’s also served on the Alexandria Local Human Rights Committee, a Literature Panel for the Alexandria Commission on the Arts, the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of Alexandria, and as an election officer and chief judge for the Board of Elections for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
For the past 25+ years, she’s enjoyed being a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, with more than 1000 articles published in newspapers and magazines and on the Web. She’s authored about a dozen books, ranging from art to business, to insurance, to patents.
Unfortunately, shortly after opening Hooray for Books!, her husband’s health began to deteriorate, and, after countless hospitalizations, he now requires 24-hour care. Ellen thanks everyone who has been so understanding and supportive during this difficult time.
Erin Barker, Manager/Buyer is a former junior English and reading teacher who loved finding the right books for her individual students, especially those who were reluctant readers. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not reading or writing she enjoys playing tennis and cycling. Some of her favorite books include Speak, Tales from Outer Suburbia, When You Reach Me, Count the Monkeys, Shark v. Train, and Not a Box.
Megan Graves has worked at Hooray for Books! since its opening in 2008. She grew up reading aloud to her siblings (mostly historical tales with plucky, resourceful heroines like Laura Ingalls Wilder or any of the various and sundry American Girls). Her first job in high school was in a bookstore, and it's been love ever since. If you've ever come by on a Friday morning, you've probably seen her at Wee Ones Storytime, belting out Cows in the Kitchen or Is This My Nose? to a crowd of eager two-and-unders. In addition to her weekly performances at Hooray for Books, Megan is also active in the DC theatre scene, where she has performed with various companies, including Imagination Stage, The Virginia Shakespeare Festival, No Rules Theatre Company, Rorschach Theatre, and others. Her favorite books of all time include The Book Thief, I Capture the Castle, Breadcrumbs, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, Anne of Green Gables, and Corduroy, just to name a few. If you catch her at the front counter, ask her for the extended list!
Patrick Hunter has worked at Hooray for Books! since it has opened. Having worked in a public library for over a decade prior to bookselling, books have been a big part of Patrick's life and career. Genres of books that hold a special interest for Patrick are Young Adult fiction, Historical Fiction/Non-fiction, Biographies, mysteries, adventure and picture books. Patrick has a special affinity for books that feature strong girl characters and coming-of-age boy characters. Cinder Edna, the Pandora Gets series, Roxaboxen, The Library, Bats at the Beach, Frindle, Masterpiece are among some of his favorites. You can find Patrick often doing Saturday storytime in our store for the 2 & under set.
Amanda Snow previously found herself a Youth Services librarian in small, rural libraries before coming to Hooray for Books! and quickly came to love bookselling just as much. Though she loves all genres of books, she has a particular affinity for YA fiction and finding just the right book for the teen that walks in the door not knowing what to read next. If you can’t find her in the YA section, she might just be at home, working on our website, playing with her dogs, blogging, or reading The Belly Button Book aloud to her son for the 92nd time. Other favorites include Matilda, The Book Thief, Inkheart, The Trouble with Chickens, Press Here, anything by Peter Reynolds or John Green, and The Penderwicks series.
One day Leah Hapner walked into Hooray For Books! and decided she didn't want to leave, so she became a part-time, weekend staffer. Hailing from Wisconsin, she loves the Green Bay Packers and cheese. She claims not to have any favorite books, but has thoroughly enjoyed The BFG, Anne of Green Gables, The Island on Bird Street, Harry Potter, and The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Leah's favorite topics are psychology, crime, witches, and WWII, and she also loves any story with a personal journey. When she isn't at HFB! she is working in DC, reading on her patio, or baking.
Cecilia Cackley has equal love for Maurice Sendak and Neil Gaiman and is glad to indulge her obsessions with children and young adult literature at Hooray for Books! When not reading, Cecilia can be found on or off the stage at various theater companies in Washington DC as a stage manager, director or puppeteer. She also blogs as The Card Catalog at www.ccbooks.wordpress.com and runs the theater company Wit's End Puppets.
Beverly Price worked for a major chain bookstore for 12 years before coming to Hooray for Books!. She has always loved books and reading. One of her first jobs was as a typesetter. She started reading YA after falling in love with Harry Potter. Her favorite books are the Inkheart series, the Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini, and anything about Henry VIII. She also loves sewing and one of her hobbies is making soft sculpture dolls.