Have you ever read a book and wanted to know more about the person who wrote it — where they came from, what inspired them, how they started writing? These are just some of the questions eighth graders explored about the authors of some of their favorite books for Barnesville’s annual Authors' Wax Museum project.
Inspired by a book they read either recently or earlier in their childhood, students researched the faces behind the fiction in order to write a biographical essay and questions and answers for an author’s interview. They also re-imagined and illustrated a book cover and created a bookmark based on meaningful symbols from the novel or collection of writings. Students then wrote a poem in tribute to the author and their work reflecting what they learned about the author’s background, motivations, and challenges.
Posing as the authors, students shared highlights from their research for parents and fellow students. Here are just a few of the interesting things visitors to this year’s Wax Museum learned:
A delayed train ride inspired the Harry Potter series.
Stan Lee got his start filling ink wells at small a comics company.
Shel Silverstein wrote songs for artists like Johnny Cash.
While writing a #1 best-seller that is being made into a movie, Nicola Yoon was working as a programmer for an investment management firm and raising her infant daughter.
One of America’s best-known children’s authors, Beverly Cleary, dreaded reading as a child.
“The diversity of authors this year was really interesting,” said Middle School Language Arts Teacher Tara Barnhart. “There were some well-known authors that multiple generations of readers have enjoyed as well as new voices that the students are introducing to their parents and friends.”
Authors represented this year : Edward Bloor, Julie Buxbaum, Beverly Cleary, Michael Crichton, Roald Dahl, Sharon Draper, Jeanne Duprau, Ralph Ellison, James Frey, John Green, Thomas Harris, Jeff Kinney, Stan Lee, C.S. Lewis, Jennifer Niven, Phillip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Don Miguel Ruiz, Shel Silverstein, Trenton Lee Stewart, J.R.R. Tolkein, Nicola Yoon.Photos are on Facebook.