As part of its Middle Gate Loves To Read Week, celebrated April 7 to 11, students at the school heard a presentation and met author Sara Pennypacker on Monday, April 7.
“It’s still amazing that Sara Pennypacker is here,” said Middle Gate language arts consultant Mary Blair before the presentation began.
Ms Pennypacker’s visit was sponsored by the Middle Gate PTA. Ms Pennypacker’s published works include her Clementine series, Summer of the Gypsy Moths, Dumbstruck, The Amazing World of Stuart, Sparrow Girl, and Pierre in Love. As she told Middle Gate students on April 11, she writes about one book a year, and she works “wherever my head is.”
Ms Pennypacker also told the students that storytelling and writing are how people understand each other.
“So I want you all to be writers and readers,” Ms Pennypacker said.
She told the students they are the best age to be avid readers, because as adults, responsibilities may take up more of their available reading time.
To explain how she works, Ms Pennypacker shared photos of herself: one on a sofa relaxing with her eyes closed and one swimming in a pool. She shared two copies of each photo and said in one she was working and in the other she was not. The students could not spot a difference. My Pennypacker said both places, underwater and on a couch, are places where she can work, using her imagination.
As a writer, Ms Pennypacker said she needs a notebook, her head, and patience. She explained the process of editing her books for the students, and, for that, she said writers need patience.
Ms Pennypacker also completed a game with the students that she called “Why, why why. How how how.” She walked the students through how to come up with a story idea by constantly asking how and why.