Local students get chance to meet author of popular ‘The Last Thirteen’ series

An Australian author, who writes books popular with middle and high school readers, will visit Columbus’ St. Peter’s Lutheran School on Thursday.

James Phelan, author of the popular “The Last Thirteen” science-fiction series for teen readers, will talk with students Thursday at the school, said Peggy Stark, a book consultant for Usborne Books.

Phelan, 35, has published 21 books for young adults, teens and middle school readers, Stark said.

He will be speaking to fifth- through eighth-graders at St. Peter’s.

“The Last Thirteen” chronicles the efforts of 13 young adults who have been chosen to save the world.

During the school presentation, Phelan will talk about how he decided to become a writer and how he puts together his stories, Stark said. Students will be given time to ask questions.

The series is popular among young readers who borrow books from the Bartholomew County Library, said Christina Kelley, teen services librarian.

The series has been released one book a month, with readers starting with No. 13 and working backward to No. 1, with the backward aspect of reading the series being one of the attractions, Kelley said.

The popularity of the series is still building, Kelley said, adding that Phelan’s books are part of a stable of authors at Usborne Books producing books that are considered stellar in youth and teen literature.

Phelan spends most of his year in Melbourne, Australia, but also spends part of the year in New York City, according to his biography.