Spotted in the Library: Bestselling Authors Gordon Korman and Stephanie Calmanson!

Spotted in the library: two – count’em – two wonderful authors talking about their craft to Speyer students! Yes, Speyer welcomed authors Gordon Korman and Stephanie Calmanson as part of a large overview to discuss the writing process and the life of a writer with multiple grades!

First up was Stephanie Calmanson! If you are a dog lover, you will especially love this author, who chatted with our students in Kindergarten and first grade about stories of her dogs – who just happen to be the inspiration and main characters in many of her books. She showed us her actual “Idea Box”, where great ideas can become great books. Among her many dog-themed books, Calmanson wrote a book called May I Pet Your Dog, a how-to guide for kids meeting dogs. Her new books are a series that includes Our Principal is a Frog and Our Principal is a Wolf! Her visit was capped off with a reading from Dinner at the Panda Palace, a funny rhyming book that incorporates a counting lesson.

Then, the amazing middle grade author Gordon Korman gave two hilarious and inspirational talks, one to Speyer’s third and fourth grade students, and the other to our fifth and sixth graders. Norman wrote his first book when he was 12 years old… and that book? It’s been made into three Netflix movies (makes you wonder what YOU were you doing at 12, eh?)! He has now written more than 94 books, which have been translated into 32 languages and sold more than 30 million copies! 

You know when you have a literary rockstar in the house when 30 fifth and sixth graders give up their precious recess time to join Korman for a writer’s workshop. He challenged the group to write about an adventure, maybe one they are scared themselves to take. He guided them on the next steps in the writing process and critiqued each student’s work. One student told me the felt that immediately his writing had improved. 

This is just one of many ways Speyer opens its doors and seeks folks from all walks off life to share and inspire our students (and ourselves)!