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Archive for April, 2022

Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015) has been chosen as the Alaska Reads book for 2022.

The official Press Release is below.

Paul Greci is the author of The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019) and Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015), a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection, Hostile Territory (Macmillan 2020), an Anchorage Daily News Best Book of 2020, and Follow the River (Move Books 2021), a 2021 Junior Library Guild Selection. You can order all of Paul’s books here.

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As a full-time special education teacher, doing author visits to schools can pose some challenges. My job doesn’t stop when I’m not in my classroom. Over the years I’ve used part of my Spring Break to do school visits outside of my own school district.

But often, the requests come from within my district or from within my own school. I like to be accessible for local kids who are reading my books so at my school if a teacher is using one or more of my books in their classes I’ll pop in for a question & answer session during my prep period.

When I get an invitation from another school, I’m sometimes able to work out using professional leave to cover the visit. I do a few of these each year, also question & answer sessions for classes that are using my books.

In general, I have found these sessions to be extremely enjoyable because they are so interactive: the students have a lot of ownership over what happens.

Also, Q & A sessions don’t require much preparation on my part so I can drop what I’m doing in my classroom and switch gears without a lot of stress. I ask the teachers and librarians involved to have kids prepare some questions ahead of time as a starting point.

Recently I spent a school day at Tanana Middle School. I met with seven groups of students for question & answer sessions. I met with every student in the building in groups ranging from 25 to 70 students. When it was time for English class, they came to the library.

On this particular day, half the school was participating in a vow of silence for 24 hours. Some students came with whiteboards and wrote their questions out and held them up. Others typed them on an IPAD and they appeared on a big screen.

I was pleasantly surprised at how engaged the “vow-of-silence” students were and at how the room would focus whenever a whiteboard was held up or a question appeared on the big screen. I’m glad I didn’t know ahead of time about the vow-of-silence activity because I would have worried about whether there would be enough student engagement for dynamic conversations and all of my worry would have been for nothing.

Thank you Tanana Middle School Students for a great day!

Paul Greci is the author of The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019) and Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015), a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection, Hostile Territory (Macmillan 2020), an Anchorage Daily News Best Book of 2020, and Follow the River (Move Books 2021), a 2021 Junior Library Guild Selection. You can order all of Paul’s books here.

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