By ALLISON DAVIS
Miseal Perez, 11, has already written one book chronicling the life and times of Garfield. He began his second book on Wednesday at Flynn Elementary–a yarn about a talking bird named Jack.
“Jack likes to eat and say his name. Jack also likes to terrorize me while I sleep,” wrote Perez in his yet-to-be-titled book.
The book was one of many that students and parents filled the library on Wednesday to turn into handmade books for the Flynn 1000.
The project is part of the school’s largest fundraiser, the Read-a-Thon, now in its fifth year. The month-long event also includes visiting storytellers, parent read-alouds, a literary costume day, and bookmaking parties both in class and after school.
Lisa Bishop, the school librarian and mastermind behind the bookmaking events, hopes to make the 1,000 book mark by the last day of the read-a-thon, March 13th.
Bishop, who started the Flynn 500 last year, got the idea from literacy efforts she learned about in Nicaragua.
“I learned that the government … declared ‘everyone a poet,’ said Bishop of her inspiration. “I hope [the students] can see that they can write anything they want in any way they want. You see how infectious it is when kids are given the freedom to write anything they want!”
Indeed, everyone was a poet, fiction writer or book jacket designer that afternoon.
Lucca Reichborn, 7, already penned his memoir (key scenes: snowboarding and watching TV) and was crossing over into science fiction. Sam Nangle, 8, hopes to parlay his literary career into screenwriting. “I want to be a moviemaker,” said Nangle. “I’m good at making up characters. It’s not going to be that hard.”
Seasoned author Tiana Kujawski, 9, was working on a collection of tongue twisters called The Tongue Twister and It’s Not a Storybook.
“I’ve actually made quite a few books,” said Kujawski, modestly, when asked if this was her first book. She penned books for the Flynn 500 last year, and completed a chapter book in class. Kujawski plans to be a writer when she grows up.
“My mom always tells me that every great writer is a good reader,” said Kujawski. “So if you are interested in writing, you should probably read.”
Kujawksi’s advice rang true as the goal was to inspire kids to enjoy reading, said Kathy Bruin, parent coordinator of the event.
Most of the kids shared second-grader Alexis Forer’s sentiment. “I love to read!” said Forer emphatically, “’Cause when you read, you go into a different world.”
“My favorite book just shuttles me right off to Mars,” said budding auteur Nangle. For his own work, he imagined the life of a brown bottle opener as expressed though an avant-garde use of text and fabric.
When asked if his bottle opener would take a voyage to Mars, he replied, “Of course not. Bottle openers must stay on Earth.”