Visiting Authors 2015-2016
On Monday, March 14th, Raymond Arroyo visited PFTSTA to talk to the 6th and 7th graders about his new book for kids: Will Wilder and the Relic of Perilous Falls. Arroyo is a nationally recognized newscaster for EWTN and has written several books for adults. We found out that for seven years he has been researching and planning for this book and the six other books that will be in the series about Will Wilder. He emphasized to the students that he could not have written his book without reading scores and scores of books and materials as background information for the story. He emphasized the power of reading as a tool for learning. Will Wilder began has a bed time story for his own children and morphed into the book that it is today. The students loved hearing him talk about his journey in researching for this book, and those who did not purchase a book have asked about the availability of the book in the library. We thank Judith Lafitte at Octavia Books and Random House Kids for making this visit possible. The students have also asked if he will return again when the next book comes out, and we sure hope that he does. Read more about his visit on the librarian's blog here.
Skype with Geoff Herbach, October 28, 2015
Bookmarked, the high school book group, did not know what they were in for when they met author, Geoff Herbach. He doesn't hold anything back, and his irreverence kept the students highly engaged and giggling through the whole event. The students found out that his first book, Stupid Fast, had many characters based on people he knows. Felton's mother was based on a mother of a childhood neighbor. One of Geoff's high school classmates made it into the book, too. During a high school reunion, he found out this classmate read the book and liked the depiction of his character in the story. There are two more books in that series, but Herbach did not continue to mine his past for inspiration. His goal is for the students to enjoy the humor in his books, and he seems to enjoy it very much himself. As he has a son who is 13, he is conscious of the language that he includes in his books, but he also wants to be realistic. Kids do use expletives, and you may find some in his writing.
Skype with Jen Calonita, September 30, 2015
Students in the middle school book group, BRiMS, had the best time visiting via skype with author Jen Calonita. They discussed her first book for middle grade students called, Flunked. She explained to the students that her two young sons wanted her to write a book that they would want to read rather than the girly young adult fiction that she has previously written. This was also her first stab at writing a fantasy set in a magical world. The book tells the story of Gilly (pronounced with a hard g) who is sent to Fairy Tale Reform School for thieving. The teachers at the school are all the reformed evil characters that you know from various fairy tales. Jen told the students that she actually had a lot of fun writing this book. She relied on her sons to help her. One of them was instrumental in assisting in the writing of the scene where Gilly is attacked by the gargoyles. The students were very intrigued by the possibility of not only sequels of which there will definitely be two but also companion books. Jen said that the students had given her some great ideas for possible companion books. We had a great chat, and the students asked some insightful questions. It was a great first author visit of the school year.