Today was a super book club day – we were lucky enough to meet with two authors! In the morning, we played a few games like a charades-type game as well as a game called Essence where one person had to guess the character the rest of the group was thinking of by asking questions.
Michael Buckley, the author of NERDS, was our first guest for the day. He started off by telling us that when he was young, he won a joke contest from a magazine and met with Eddie Murphy. Eddie suggested that Michael try doing standup comedy, which led to a number of other opportunities for him. Eventually he found that he enjoyed writing books for kids the most. He even read us part of the fifth NERDS book that hasn’t even come out yet!
After the reading, Michael asked us to pick a member of our family to turn into either a hero or a villain. We had to pick a code name for them and come up with an upgrade or super power for them to have. Some of us chose siblings, while others chose to describe cousins, parents, or even pets! Michael told us that it helps to make villains have something about them that is relatable. If readers can understand the motives of the villain to some extent, then they can better connect with the story.
As soon as we came back from spending time outside eating lunch and playing capture the flag, we met with the author of Bird in a Box, Andrea Pinkney! Andrea was able to give us her perspective as both an author and an editor who works at Scholastic. She showed us some pages from her picture books as well as different cover options she had to pick from for a variety of books. Andrea told us that in addition to picking book covers, editors help the author say what they mean to say, make sure pictures in a book match up with the words, and help write the blurbs that appear on the book jacket. We ended by getting our second book of the day signed and taking a photo with Andrea!