Visiting Authors Share their Creative Work and Experience with Clairbourn Students

Nancy Ward
Clairbourn’s library strongly supports student literacy through an annual Book Fair event on campus which introduces students to the best books in children’s literature and helps them to learn how books come into existence. Local and nationally-known visiting authors and illustrators are brought on campus each year as part of the Book Fair. These grade-level appropriate presentations often include book readings and can cover writing skills, storyline development, character development, editing, how to get published and promote books, and how to draw and conceptualize book illustrations.

This year, Clairbourn brought two authors on campus. Preschool to Grade 5 students heard from Carter Higgins, a former school librarian who now writes popular children’s books.  For the youngest students, she gave two read-aloud sessions of her book Bikes for Sale, where bike-riding characters Maurice and Lotta have a mishap that leads to a friendship and new adventures thanks to some creative problem-solving.
Carter Higgins is a former school librarian who has authored four children’s books.
Later, Higgins gave an assembly, for students in Grades 2-5, on “how reading and writing as a kid prepared me to be an author…how books are made, where ideas come from, how many drafts it took, and how being a reader is the most important thing you can be.”  Additional Books by Carter Higgins include, Everything You Need for a Treehouse, This is Not a Valentine, and A Rambler Steals Home.

The second author, Tracy Holczer, began her visit to Clairbourn with an author-meet-and-greet event, called “Donuts and Discussion,” where a group middle-school superfans ate donuts with her in the Clairbourn Library and asked her about her books and work as an author. 
Author Tracy Holczer has written two books for young adult readers.

Holczer is a good author to speak to middle school students because she was already writing stories before the age of 14. As a young teenager, Holczer transitioned from city life to a mountain environment, and with that change came time to daydream and observe all the wonders around her. As she grew older she was inspired by her experiences and discoveries to write professionally.  For her, writing is a journey that requires great patience, but the rewards along the way are just as important as producing finished books.
Later in the day, she shared her message to a wider audience at a full Grade 6-8 assembly where she spoke about creating her two books, Everything Else in the Universe, and The Secret Hum of a Daisy. In the first book, her main character, Lucy, tries to solve a mystery while desperately seeking to recover her relationship with her war-injured father. In the second book, the main character, Grace, faces continual displacement followed by a mysterious treasure hunt that she hopes will lead her to a true sense of home.
Middle school students in Grades 6-8 attend Holczer’s author assembly and learn about her journey of creating her books.

Clairbourn gratefully thanks the families who sposored the costs of bringing these two authors to campus to benefit and inspire our students.
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