HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - The 2011 Southern Miss Medallion recipient received his award on Thursday during the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival.
The medallion is presented annually to a children's book author or illustrator during the festival, which is organized and hosted by the university. Noted author of over twenty books for young people, T. A. Barron, is this years honoree. Barron is a Colorado native, who has written books that deal with elements of fantasy.
Barron has authored fictional works about the young wizard, Merlin, and has addressed other subject matters like his love of the great outdoors. Barron said his books focus on the power of the individual to change the world in a positive way.
T. A. Barron worked for several years in business in New York City, before deciding twenty years ago to resign from his corporate position and return to his home state of Colorado to pursue his passion of writing children's literature.
Barron explained, "To me, it was not nearly as scary, not nearly as the idea of growing old and being an old man at the end of my life and having the knowledge that I had this dream, I had this passion, but I just didn't have the guts to go for it."
He said receiving the Southern Miss Medallion is one of the highest honors in his life next to getting a hug from his twelve year old daughter.