Visiting Authors 2018-2019
Authors 2017-2018 Authors 2016-2017 Authors 2015-2016 Authors 2014-2015 Authors 2013-2014 Authors 2011-2012 Authors 2010-2011 Authors Pre-2011
November 27, 2018
Liesl Shurtliff, virtual visit
Noevember 14, 2018
When the visit with author Liesl Shurtliff was planned three months ago for BRiMS, the annual holiday lunch with parents was not on the school's calendar. Several BRiMS members missed the event because it took so long for them to get their lunch in the cafeteria. On the other hand, several students brought their family into the library to eat lunch with them, and their parents and grandparents stayed for the virtual visit. That was a first but also a bit of fun. Shurtliff spoke for about 10 minutes explaining where she got her ideas and how she began writing. It took her 15 years of writing before she published a book, but when she sat down to write Rump, her first published book, it took less than a year. She did not initially plan to write fantasy because she was interested in so many contemporary topics and expected realistic fiction to be her genre. Then we opened up the floor to questions. She talked about why fairy tale retellings are so popular. Part of the reason is that the story is familiar and readers like familiar, and another reason is that people like to read about different sides of the same story. By retelling Rumpelstiltskin from Rump's point of view, the reader gets insight as to why he acted the way he did. A virtual visit may not be quite as big of a treat as meeting an author face to face, but Shurtliff was a good listener and open to answering all the students questions.
Daniel José Older
September 11, 2018
It was the book birthday for The Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older, and the author chose to spend part of the day with our 6th and 7th graders. Older spent time explaining why he chose to write an historical fiction, fantasy mash up for his first middle grade novel and how that mash up manifested in the story. As a kid, Older was fascinated with monsters and drew them all the time. He was also intrigued by the history of a real orphans' home that existed in New York during the mid-1800s. Many of the events in the book actually happened like the New York City draft riots that caused many buildings to go up in flames. Most of the characters that appear in his book are fictional, but he does include a few historical figures. Having his characters interact with dinosaurs just seemed right to him. His book is an action-packed adventure story, and the dinosaurs help to save the day because Magdalys, the heroine, is able to communicate telepathically with them. Read more about this visit on the librarian's blog.