Alton Carter is a former foster child and police officer. He was the first person in his family to graduate from high school and college.
Now the director of youth ministries for the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State University alum has dedicated his life to working with young people.
In April of 2015, his debut book, The Boy Who Carried Bricks, was published by The RoadRunner Press. On April 9, 2016, the nonfiction title won the 2016 Oklahoma Book Award. It was named to national 2016 Top Ten In the Margins Book Awards List and named a finalist in ForeWord Reviews magazine’s 2016 Best Books of the Year, Indie Fab Awards.
The book is a true recount of Carter’s hard-scrabble life growing up on the plains and in the small towns of Oklahoma.
In 2015, Carter founded the Alton Carter Inspire Foundation with the goal of assisting young people with a similar background. A percentage of the book sales from The Boy Who Carried Bricks goes to this cause.
In 2016, Aging Out was published. This is the story of how he aged out of the foster care system only to have his college dreams shattered, and how he found the courage to face his past and dare to take the steps to the life and family he always dreamed he would one day have. Aging Out has been named a 2019 Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice Top 10 finalist and won the 2017 In the Margins Award for Nonfiction.
Alton Carter will discuss his books (The Boy Who Carried Bricks, Aging Out and The Boy Who Dreamed Big) and the connection to his life growing up in the foster care system in the plains and small towns of Oklahoma.
“As a boy, I always believed if I just kept putting one foot in front of the other that one day I would find myself in a normal home with food in the refrigerator, a bed to sleep in, heat in the winter, and a family that was kind to each other. I wrote my first book, THE BOY WHO CARRIED BRICKS, in hopes of inspiring those struggling to make sense of a childhood full of violence, abuse, or neglect to persevere. I also hoped it would remind those with loving parents and nice things what a gift such a life is . . . and to remember that not everyone starts with such a storybook beginning. My new book is called AGING OUT; it is the sequel that follows my life from my senior year in high school through college and beyond. I wrote this book for all those teens stepping out into the unknown after high school, with the hope that when the going gets tough, they’llremember: Never give up—you’re not alone!” -Alton Carter