Students visit with author after reading her book.
After reading The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni, Arttie Parker's English class students had the rare treat of asking the author questions about the book directly. On December 3 students talked with the author via Skype during their class time. The students all prepared questions ahead of time, and Mrs. Salerni said the students sometimes really make her think. Students were engaged and really interested to talk to her.
Student Arek Friedrickson said his favorite part was "to find out more than just what you read from the author herself." Several students echoed that their favorite part with talking to her was learning more about The Knights of the Round Table and Arthurian legend. For all of the students this was their first time ever talking to an author. Another great perk of this unit is that the author signs and personalizes a copy of the book for each student.
About four years ago Mr. Parker emailed the author and asked if she would be willing to talk with his class. She was excited to because she is a teacher as well. This is the fourth year in a row that she has talked with Mr. Parker's class.
Salerni's book, The Eighth Day, is the first book in a series of books aimed at younger readers. Mr. Parker said he chose this book because "I work with a lot of students from difficult backgrounds, many of whom have never passed an English class, and some who have told me they have never even owned a book. So, I chose this series because it is a nice combination of fantasy and myth, and allows me to introduce research paper writing and MLA citation using a book that they can understand and that they can highlight and underline and mark up in any way that they need to."
Four of Mr. Parker's students enjoyed the first book so much that they also read the next two.