St. George’s strives to instill a lifelong love of reading among its students. The school’s three libraries are filled with the newest books in a variety of genres for all grades, pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. Reading events, like the Mock Newbery and Mother-Daughter Book Clubs, are key to building book buzz, and students often return to their cubbies or lockers to find new books waiting for them, delivered by knowledgeable librarians who know students’ wishlists by heart. But arguably the most influential of St. George’s library events are its frequent author visits.
Earlier this month, author Mac Barnett and illustrator Greg Pizzoli visited St. George’s lower school students to discuss their new easy reader series, "A Jack Book." The room overflowed with laughter as Barnett and Pizzoli read their latest book and answered questions. Pizzoli even called one lucky first grader to the front of the room and showed him how to draw Jack from the book series. “Do you know how to draw an oval, and the letters j and u?” Pizzoli asked. “Then you can draw any character in the book.”
Barnett and Pizzoli are hardly the first publishing industry professionals to visit St. George’s.
The school hosts many authors throughout the year, including best-sellers Kate DiCamillo (two-time Newbery Award winner of “The Tales of Despereaux), Anna Dewdney (“Llama Llama” series), Jane O’Connor (“Fancy Nancy”), Brendan Mull (“Fablehaven”), and many others.
“Events like these instill such a love for reading,” said librarian Jennifer Winstead. “When students have an opportunity to engage with the author and discuss their creative process, it opens up a whole new world and encourages them to tap into their own creativity. An excitement like that lasts long after the visit.”
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