SUNY Oswego will bring author A.S. King to campus to speak about her novel “Dig” on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Sheldon Hall ballroom for the Oswego Reading Initiative (ORI).

ORI, an annual project dating back more than 20 years, asks incoming freshmen to read one book over the summer with events, class sessions and discussions on campus in relation to that selection.

In addition to being the ORI summer 2022 selection, “Dig” won the 2020 Michael L. Printz Award and was a L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist.

King is known for what she defines as a weird writing style – not what one would expect to find in a young adult novel. The New York Times Book Review has called King” “One of the best Y.A. writers working today.”

“I have a hard time answering questions about why specific characters do specific things in my books because once I start writing, it’s really the characters who tell me what happens in the story” King said on her website.

The ORI committee chooses books that will provide critical thinking and engagement in the classroom and at the events held on campus. Books in the past include “Knitting the Fog” by Claudia D. Hernández, “There There” by Tommy Orange, “What the Eyes Don’t See” by Mona Hanna-Attisha and “Tell Me How It Ends” by Valeria Luiselli.

King typically writes young adult books targeted at people of ages 14 and up, but her books are enjoyed by people of all ages. Although “Dig” is considered a young adult book, it has themes that college students and faculty will be able to use for discussions in their classrooms.

“About half my fans are adults,” King said. “If you are an adult and discover that you enjoy my books, you can feel entirely okay about it. I write them so that they will be interesting to everyone,” said King.

King is a faculty member of the master of fine arts program in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also travels the country to speak to high schools and universities.

The event also wraps up the 2022 edition of the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Student Leadership Conference.

For more information or for those needing accommodations to attend this event, call 315-312-2232 or email

–- Written by Gabrielle Kroeger of the Class of 2023