Students at North Junior High got to meet real-life author Abby Cooper where they participated in a workshop about magical realism on Dec. 17. Nearly 30 students chose to participate in the author visit workshop as part of the What I Need (WIN) program at the junior high.
Cooper is the author of three middle school books including Sticks & Stones, Bubbles and Friend or Fiction. Each novel incorporates magical realism into the plot where unusual things happen in real settings. For example, in Sticks & Stones, the names that people call 12-year-old Elyse show up on her body like real tattoos.
North Junior High’s media specialist Jen Legatt won a free author visit from Cooper at a local silent auction. She planned the visit and recruited nearly 30 students who wanted to participate in a workshop and meet the author.
“Anytime we can connect kids with the real world and get them excited about reading and writing is an amazing opportunity,” Legatt said.
As a former teacher and school librarian, Cooper said kids have a strong place in her heart. She spent an hour exploring the idea of magical realism with the students and helping them develop their own ideas for stories. She hopes her visit can inspire kids to pursue writing and realize that it is something they can accomplish if they want to.
“I hope they leave excited and wanting to read and write more and I hope they feel empowered that they are writers and that their ideas are good and their voices matter,” Cooper said.
The students left the workshop with a signed copy of one of Cooper’s books and the inspiration to read more and write often.