Monday, November 7, 2011

Jack Gantos came to town

Jack Gantos visited our school today and it was fabulous!

He had students from years 3-11 entranced and engaged, rolling in the aisles laughing at his stories and at the same time learning how to create their own stories using a journal, writing formula and interesting words. They were learning from a true master the art of storytelling.

I had heard about Jack from other international schools - they raved about him. I thought he would be good to visit our school so our contact started 2 years ago with true negotiations and bookings about 18 months ago, we then had all the normal organisational nightmares in between. We shared the costs of Jacks visit to HK with 3 other schools in HK, plus a school in Jakarta.

The sessions were not as long as we would have liked due to restrictions of our timetable, however Jack was available in the library at lunch to chat, answer questions and sign books. More secondary students than primary took up this opportunity and equal number of boys and girls. Even some staff came to chat and buy books.

After his talks and signing time, we had 3 journalism students conduct an interview with Jack. He was very gracious with his time, answered their questions freely about his life occupation. He really enjoyed interacting with all the students. As far as author visits go, Jack was a breeze and I would invite him back in a heart beat and the kids would be just as entranced.

Jack is not just an author who talks about writing. He developed the master's degree program in children's book writing at Emerson College in Boston and taught it. He really knows his stuff and knows how to deliver it.

It was a pleasure to have him in our school, and I am really glad he came because I know he made a difference today.

Photographs 1 & 3 taken by Dianne McKenzie. Photo 2 taken by Connie Leung © Rights reserved on these ones!

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