Friday, May 17, 2013

Real Live Author Visit

Today 3rd graders had the privilege to meet a real live author in the Titche library!  Carol Liu, author of Arlene on the Scene and Arlene, the Rebel Queen came to share her book and the joy of writing with us. 

These books grew out of one moment, a moment of connection between two friends. Carol Liu and Marybeth Caldarone locked eyes that day, years ago, and decided: there should be a book.  There should be a book about a kid with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Shark–what??  It’s a weird name, a difficult disease. Marybeth and her daughter, Grace, have it. It’s not that rare, but too many have never heard of it. Marybeth and Carol decided that would have to change.

So they got to writing, and out popped Arlene. Yes, onto the scene. And she’s been making waves ever since.

Carol decided to take the show on the road, and one student at a time, explain why she wrote the book, why she believes in the message contained within its pages, and why we all need to get together to change the future for kids like Grace Caldarone, the inspiration and reason this whole thing happened.

The whole point of the book was to shout out to the world what it’s like to live with CMT, but it turned into a story about growing up different. Which means simply growing up, because what Arlene realizes is that we’re all different, and differences are beautiful. Carol Liu is not only an author, she’s also a clinical social worker with decades of experience working with young people on the very social issues explored in this book: developing a positive self-image, appreciating differences, and negotiating peer relationships.

Carol's presentation was outstanding as she addressed differences, disability, empathy, activism, and the writing process all in one entertaining session.  We appreciate her coming to visit free of charge and providing our students with such a great experience! 

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