Saturday, November 12, 2016

Our Day with Dan Gemeinhart

What a day!!  We were so fortunate to have author, Dan Gemeinhart spend the day with us!

Last year at our inaugural Northview Mock Newbery Committee meeting, our fourth grade students chose Dan's book, The Honest Truth as their winner.  (You can read about the event here.)  Since that time, we had hoped that our students could have the opportunity to meet Dan in person (not an easy thing with Dan being in Washington (state) and us being in Michigan.  However, after some careful planning (and a great deal of flexibility and generosity on Dan's part) we were able to make it happen!  Here is how our wonderful day unfolded...

Dan started the day by meeting with East Oakview's current fourth grade Mock Newbery club.  Being a teacher-librarian, author, and fellow book nerd, Dan was a natural talking with committee members about what they were reading and their reactions to that reading. They were so excited to share their thoughts with him.

Next, Dan did an author presentation with any fourth grade classes in entire the district that had read The Honest Truth.  Two hundred excited students (from three elementary schools) filed into the gym for Dan's presentation.

He shared about himself and about his journey to become a published author.  His presentation was interesting, funny, compelling and inspiring....sharing with students to treat people kindly,  stand up for what is right, never give up and work hard for your dreams. He read from The Honest Truth (and let's face it, there is something really special about hearing an author read his/her own words).

Dan, of course, then took time to answer the many questions that students had about being an author, his writing process and his future projects,

We then moved back to the library where students who had purchased Dan's books had the opportunity to meet with him and have their books signed.  (Thank you to Scholastic for agreeing to put The Honest Truth on our recent book fair at a very reasonable price!)

Following lunch, Carrie Davies (North Oakview's awesome teacher-librarian) and I took Dan up to our fifth/sixth grade building to meet with last year's Mock Newbery Committee members.  Carrie and I had had the opportunity to spend some time with the committee members the week before and knew that these amazing readers were really excited to meet Dan.

This was a more casual conversation and allowed students to have a great deal of time to ask their many questions. Dan, also went into greater detail about his upcoming projects which, by the way, sound incredible! There will be many happy readers!

We presented Dan with a copy of The Honest Truth with our Northview Mock Newbery medal on the cover (signed by the committee members).

And, of course took a group photo with the author!!

Dan ended his day at North Oakview signing books for more excited readers.

The power of an author visit is indescribable. The energy and excitement for students (and teachers) is almost overwhelming.  Authors are rockstars to our students...and Dan Gemeinhart showed our students exactly why they should be.  Thanks, Dan, for giving our students an absolutely magical day!

The Honest Truth, Some Kind of Courage and Scar Island (January 2017) are published by Scholastic and can be purchased on Amazon or from your local independent bookseller.