Open Wounds

3rd Gade Q & A

My son’s teacher asked me to come in to speak to the two 3rd grade classes at Buckley Country Day School this morning. After reading Andrew Smith’s column on going to a high school class for Q & A I have to say I wasnt as sure what to expect from a group of 8 and 9 year olds. Okay. That’s not true. I’ve been to his class before and his teacher is a wonderful reading and writing teacher who keeps the class mayhem to a minimum  so I knew the class would be behaved but I was not quite prepared for how focused they were and for how long they lasted.

Now I wasn’t there by myself. Another father who also happens to be an author – Paul O’Donnell, author of Man Up (a terriffic book) was also invited to speak so we shared the space and did a compare and contrast on fiction and non-fiction which, because Paul is so good and natural a speaker – came off well. Then we got to Q & A and man did they come up with some good questions. Here’s a few of them:

  • How do you come up with the titles of your books?
  • How many times did you have to rewrite your book?
  • What do you do if a bookstore won’t take your book?
  • Do you write only fiction? Non-fiction?
  • What gave you the idea to write the book?
  • Will they make a movie out of it?
  • What happens to the books that a store doesn’t sell?
  • Do you like to write books?
I wish I had a tape-recorder so I could remember the rest. Easily a third of the 30 kids in the two classes asked questions and some times they came rapid fire. We lasted an hour and fifteen minutes – pretty amazing for a group of 8 and 9 year olds. The teacher had to stop a few kids for asking their final questions because they were way past their next class time. But hey, they can see Paul and me any time when we come to pick our kids up at the end of the day. Hearing the teacher remind everyone of that and then watching the kids heads nod in recognition (oh yeah I see those two old guys all the time) put a smile on my face for the rest of the morning.

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