July 21, 2021

Join Jacob and Ridley for an Exciting Adventure!

Book Launch to be held at BAPL on August 21

Professional skateboarder Ray Gurz of Emmaus loves to skate, travel, take chances, and play extremely loud music. He also wrote a children’s book.

“What seems impossible can happen if you put your heart into it,” said Gurz. “This is my first book and I expected some bumps in the road. I just held on and kept moving forward.”

The title of the book is Jacob and Ridley Head to the Park. It is published by BAPL Books, the publishing project of the Bethlehem Area Public Library.

The story revolves around two best friends, fictional creatures named Jacob and Ridley, who search for adventure, excitement, and good times. The book’s goal is to encourage children to understand the importance of being themselves and to take opportunities to live life to the fullest. The two best buds go on a trip to the park where they meet a new friend, and of course get some skating in. 

Gurz also illustrated the book. Jacob and Ridley actually started life as a doodle he made to amuse a co-worker at his night job as a clerk at UPS. Everyone at work loved the characters, so Gurz began a whole book of their adventures, using a mix of ink drawings and watercolors. 

“This was my opportunity to share with the BAPL a vision that I am very proud of,” said Gurz. “It was an honor getting published with the library. I saw something very intimidating actually come together well in the end!”

BAPL Executive Director Josh Berk jumped at the chance to publish Gurz’s creation. “Ray’s a local legend,” Berk said. “He’s so well known as a skater and an artist and a musician — I was extremely excited to hear he created a children’s book and I know lots of other people will be too!” 

The overall message of the story? May the cool times never end! 

You can purchase Gurz’s first book at the book signing held at the Main Library (11 W. Church St.) on August 21st. It can also be ordered online at bapl.org after the launch on 8/21.


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