Monday, March 5, 2012

'Tween Readers Ask The Best Questions!

Mason Creek Elementary - 80s Day!

I spend much of my spare time visiting elementary schools giving presentations to inspire reading and writing. While I enjoy showing old family pictures from the early 1900's and explaining how ancestors and family stories helped inspire a 5-book series, Cynthia's Attic, what I look forward to, most, are the question and answer sessions.

A recent visit to Factory Shoals Elementary in Douglasville, Ga, brought out some amazing questions from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Media specialist, Lori Blevins, has a great group of readers!

Here's a little setup for the series:

In trying to escape the boring summer of 1964, the adventurous twelve-year-old girls stumble upon a trunk in Cynthia's attic that has been in her family for three generations and are whisked back to 1914 where they meet, and share adventures with their ancestors.

Along with perilous escapades, they make important, sometimes humorous discoveries about their ancestors, and even manage to change history...for the better...along the way.

Like Cynthia and Gus, my real childhood best friend, Cynthia and I grew up together in a small, Southern Indiana town.

After hearing this, one young man asked what Cynthia and I did for fun when we were twelve. I was a little taken aback because no one had ever asked that question! I explained that we, along with several neighborhood friends, played softball, badminton, croquet and many other games outside in a vacant lot between our houses. Most of the students were amazed that our time wasn't spent, indoors, infront of TV or computer!

Another student asked how I go about finding the right publisher and another wondered what steps I take to get over writers' block! Again, I'm so impressed with elementary school students and their enthusiasm.

Must also give a shout-out to one of the best media specialists in W. Georgia, Diereshe Collins! I had the honor of being invited to Mason Creek Elementary in Winston, GA, as a celebrity reader during Dr. Seuss, Read Across America Week. Please note that I had been presenting and reading all day; hence the bleary eyes! I refuse to address the fact that Mrs. Collins had put in an entire week organizing the event and looks amazingly refreshed!
I'm also thrilled that the Mason Creek media center"bayou" theme is partially patterned after
Cynthia's Attic: Curse of the Bayou!

Mary Cunningham Books

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