Authors Are My Rock Stars Part 2

Slice of Life2

Last week I traveled to Shenandoah University in Virginia to attend two days of their week-long Children’s Literature Conference. Every day three authors or illustrators make whole group presentations, sign books, and then meet with attendees in small groups. You may remember my post from a few weeks ago about authors being my rock stars, so yes, this was right up my alley.

I’m almost afraid to admit this, but up until last week I wasn’t a huge Mac Barnett fan. I read Sam and Dave Dig a Hole more than once, trying to figure it out. And after I heard several colleagues rave about it, I read it again. But I have to admit, I just didn’t get it. Then there is his new book Night Noise. Not sure I truly got that one, either, on the first read.  That is, until I heard Mac Barnett speak at the conference, heard him read his work, and listened to him talk about the important collaboration between author and illustrator, how books hold surprises, and how he strives to create stories for young readers that leave them thinking Huh?, inviting a re-read. Mac was engaging, captivating, creative…and I think I finally get him.

I love to listen to authors talk about their process and hear the back story of how their books are created. I think it is important for our young readers to hear this, also. How wonderful it is to bring authors to schools or engage with them via Skype. And how sad it is that much of this important work is being cut from schools because of time or money.

Without a doubt, authors are my rock stars.

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6 Responses to Authors Are My Rock Stars Part 2

  1. marilynyung says:

    Well, now my curiosity is piqued! I will definitely have to check these books out. I’m intrigued by the idea of a book intentionally being written in order to require a re-read. I wonder how this would work with my kids. Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful opportunity! We should try for more of these interactions between authors and students. My school had Elizabeth Wein visit last year and my students loved talking with her. I was thrilled when she told them how long she worked on each book! I think they finally saw why they need to revise their own writing as part of the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. atzmmom says:

    I have become addicted to literary podcasts just to hear interviews with authors, to hear how and why they write what they write. It is inspiring, and I always find nuggets of wisdom to bring to my classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wahooteacher says:

    I completely agree that authors are rock stars! I was also at that conference and I was mesmerized!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fran Haley says:

    I appreciate your truths here – the confession of not “getting” a work until the author spoke. I think about how many times this is multiplied for our students, the whole reason why we need to have rich and deep interpretive discussions around books. That word, PROCESS, is mighty – it is something we all need to contemplate more. So many things involve process – knowing how and why something comes together is invaluable. I also value how we as teachers are always learners – you captured that well here.

    Liked by 1 person

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