Looking forward to visiting North Dartmouth Middle School again on March 17. All the 7th graders will be reading The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez and working on learning about metaphor and writing their own object poems.
Had a great visit yesterday to Rye-Neck Middle School where all the students read Benny. Even the 6th graders were in to the book, and I had lunch with a number of students, who shared their favorite books and talked about some of their own writing projects. Special thanks to librarian, Linda Costelloe, Linda Mazzeo, Chris Macli, and Nora Lucas. Also, a shout to Rye-Neck’s great principal, Eric Lutinski, who’s always supportive of bringing in authors.
I’m looking forward to my September, 14 visit at Rye-Neck Middle School in Rye-Neck, NY. Over 300 kids will have read The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez, and I can’t wait to meet them and answer their questions. Hopefully, I’ll have some good pics to put up on this page
Had an amazing visit on March 11 to Dartmouth Middle School where over 300 7th graders read The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr., aka Houdini. The students made murals and posters; they created a board game, and even performed a song–all inspired by Houdini. Below are some pictures of their projects.
Last Wednesday I visited St. Andrews in Barrington, RI, where all the middle schoolers read The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez. Over the years, I’ve learned that the success of my visits depends of course on the kids, but also on how well teachers prepare the students before I arrive. Gregg O’Brien and Mary Ann Murgo and their crew did an amazing job, and the response to and questions about the books were amazing. I was especially impressed with how easily the students grasped the idea of metaphor, and I’m looking forward to going back to read their object poems. It made me realize how well Benny works as a book but also as an extended lesson on poetry. After the visit, the kids went outside and played a round a miniature golf, just as Benny’s family would have. Thanks again to St. Andrews.
Last week reminded me of why I like what I do. All the 4th and 5th graders at Henry Barnard School read The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez, and all the 7th graders at Curtis Corner School read The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr., aka Houdini. The librarians and teachers really had the students prepared. They asked great questions and, as usual, taught me things about my own books. Also, as usual, everyone wants a sequel to Houdini (giving me many suggestions), but that will have to come from a different publisher. So thanks to all, especially Holly Nagib and Brittany Dunne.
In September I have a new story, “The Gunslinger,” forthcoming in Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns, edited by Michael Cart, with other stories from the likes of Joyce Carol Oats, Walter Dean Myers, Chris Crutcher, and Francesca Lia Block. These are very powerful stories about a problem that continues to haunt our culture, and I’m proud to be in such esteemed company. You can pre-order the book at http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Aim-Power-Pain-Teens/dp/0062327356
Thanks to all who nominated The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez for the 2016 RI Teen Book Award. Good luck to Benny. He’s a great kid.
I had a great visit to the YA reading club at Cumberland Library last Saturday. The kids read The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez. They had great questions about the book and about writing in general. After the Q & A we did a writing exercise on beginnings. A lot of talented writers there, and I thank Jenn Cournoyer for inviting me.
Last Thursday, over 300 7th graders read The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr., aka Houdini at Dartmouth Middle School in Dartmouth, MA. Literacy coach Karen Babbitt and so many others made the visit special. But the kids stole the show, making posters and just really responding to the book on a very high level. I’ll look forward to coming back next year. This visit reminded me of why we writers do what we do.