The author of a New York Times best-selling series of young adult books met with students at Grove Junior High School in Elk Grove Village to talk about his experience as a writer and pass on a few tips to future literary stars.
Neal Shusterman, who has written more than 30 books -- including the Unwind Dystology series -- spent a day at Grove earlier this month fielding questions, conducting writing workshops and having lunch with students.
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"The kids were awe-struck and truly enjoyed (his) visit," said Grove librarian Judith Lopez. "Mr. Shusterman was very gracious and approachable toward both teachers and students."
All students were given the opportunity to participate in a question and answer style assembly, where the author addressed his writing process, the publishing and film industry, and his books. His book "Unwind" from The Unwind Dystology series is currently in development to be made into a movie.
"I have never seen student audiences so involved and entertained by a presenter," said eighth-grade Language Arts teacher Linda Johnson. "He asked them what they wanted to know and his responses to their questions were unbelievably riveting. They learned how a writer thinks, how he generates story ideas, and how much work goes into the craft."
Students who completed reading five or more of his books were invited to participate in a small writer's workshop that allowed them to learn how Shusterman goes about generating creative ideas.
Those who read six or more books were treated to a pizza lunch, where Shusterman gave an exclusive reading of his forthcoming book, "UnDivide," from the Unwind Dystology series, which is slated for release in October.
Dr. Fessler, superintendent for schools at School District 59 said, "I truly enjoyed observing Mr. Shusterman engage our students in prewriting activities. Our students were motivated and inspired by his creativity and the various writing methods he shared."
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