Authors = Rock Stars

I had a moment last Friday afternoon when I knew I should have been listening to what Lisa McMann, New York Times Bestselling Author, was saying, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the 4th and 5th graders who were hanging on her every word.

I watched their faces and wondered, “How many of these students are being inspired to become authors? How many reluctant readers are thinking they need to read one of Lisa’s amazing books?” I have to admit that I was also distracted by my colleagues who appeared to be just as excited as the kids were!

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Look at those faces…also note the teacher faces!

The excitement level had been building in our school since the beginning of the year! Suddenly, Lisa’s books were everywhere. Students were itching to get their hands on a copy of The Unwanteds. Avid readers of The Unwanteds series were a little upset that they had to wait a little longer than the rest of the world to read Book 4 (Island of Legends) since they were waiting to buy a signed copy. I had students ask me, “How many more days until Lisa McMann comes? When is it Friday?!” Even my reluctant readers were getting pumped up about meeting Lisa.

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Lisa told the students that when she was a kid, she thought all authors were dead. The students thought that was funny, but it made me think about the wonderful shift that has occurred in interactions between authors and readers due to author visits and social media. My students commonly say, “I have a question, does this author Tweet?” I think many of my students are more shocked when I tell them an author is no longer living, and I think that is because we are able to interact with so many authors through technology. Authors are joining the rank of rock stars, and that makes me so happy!

Our 4th and 5th graders will not soon forget this visit. They were still buzzing about it on Monday when they all had to come and tell me that they had gone to see Lisa at Barnes and Noble and that they now had their own KITTEN! (“And guess what…she even gave me a couple extras to give my friends!”)

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Kitten says, “Thank you, Lisa McMann, for connecting with our students and speaking to their young reading and writing hearts! Thank you to all authors everywhere who are tweeting, instagraming, facebooking, and visiting students around the world because you never know what future authors, illustrators, editors, and readers you may be inspiring!”

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