Award winning author Suzy Kline visits Hawthorne
Thanks to a generous grant from the elementary PTA, award winning author Suzy Kline visited Hawthorne Elementary School this week. Mrs. Kline is the author of more than 50 children's books including several popular series such as the Horrible Harry, Herbie Jones, Mary Maroney, Orp and Song-Lee series. The author has been publishing books for more than 30 years.
Groups of kindergarteners, first and second-graders listened intently as Mrs. Kline explained that all of her story ideas came from real-life experiences. Being a second and third grade teacher for 27 years gave her plenty of inspiration for her characters and plots. Her most popular series, "Horrible Harry", features a rambunctious second grade boy who always keeps his teachers and classmates on their toes. The Hawthorne students knew the plot-line to many of her stories as she shared props that were featured in each book.
Mrs. Kline reassured the students that all of them have the potential to write great stories. "Seeds for stories" can be found in ordinary, everyday items. She advised the students to always carry a "pocket notebook", a notebook small enough to fit in a pocket, so that potential writers can jot down ideas whenever inspiration strikes. Mrs. Kline has been inspired by many things including a broken necklace a student gave her once, a hole in the fence in the schoolyard and a locked closet in one of the classrooms she taught in. She told students not to worry about spelling, grammar and punctuation at first, but just to get ideas down on paper. Even students as young as 6 or 7 have the ability to create great works of imagination.
The highlight of the presentation came when several teachers came to the front of the multi-purpose room to act out the characters in a Herbie Jones story. The students got a kick out of watching their teachers act like nervous, silly, and bossy third graders.
Before Mrs. Kline left, she delivered a signed copy of her latest book Horrible Harry and the Field Day Revenge to the library so that students could enjoy it at their leisure.
Thank you to the elementary PTA for sponsoring the entertaining and educational experience.