Author Visit Inspires at Prodell

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On Dec. 6, Prodell Middle School students were treated to a visit by Adam Gidwitz, author of a trio of young adult novels that revisit stories by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and others. Gidwitz’s book, “A Tale Dark and Grimm,” is part of the school’s winter Big Read Project, organized by Prodell librarian Ann-Marie Kalin. The program, which began last spring, works to inspire and encourage schoolwide reading. In addition to attending group assemblies, student representatives from each English class were selected to attend a writer’s workshop with Gidwitz in the school’s library.
“Having met Adam before, I knew he would be a great fit for our Big Read initiative,” said Kalin. “His message that writers are storytellers and that anyone can write correlates with the values we instill in our classrooms each day to read and write for enjoyment,” added teacher Linda Mohabir.

During the assembly, Gidwitz performed clever and engaging renditions of the Brothers Grimm versions of the popular fairy tales “Cinderella” and “The Juniper Tree.” He analyzed the tales and spent time comparing the real versions to the more popular stories. Gidwitz also answered questions about his creative methods, the revision process and his personal journey to becoming an author. Additionally, the school held an author reception where more than 100 students were able to meet the author and have books autographed.

“Since his visit, the students’ reading and writing energy has been revitalized,” said Kalin. Efforts are in the works to bring Gidwitz back to the school for more workshop opportunities.