Friday, July 13, 2012

Author Donna Gephart

Deb Tyo is a sixth-grade language arts teacher in Ohio. She is a blogger, reader, and lover of books and chocolate. She is a proud member of the Nerdy Book Club. She is @chocolateair on Twitter and enjoys participating in Twitter PD by joining in the #titletalk chat each month.

I invited Deb on Watch. Connect. Read. to discuss Donna Gephart’s SKYPE visit. Deb has Skyped with Donna for two years in a row for World Read Aloud Day.

I wrote the words in red, and Deb wrote the words in black. Thank you, Deb!

*I connect my students with authors as often as I can! Speaking with an author—through email, tweets, Skype visits or in-person visits—is one sure-fire way to get kids hooked on books. It is eye-opening for kids to see authors for the real-life rock stars they are!


*Donna Gephart told my students all about her newest book Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen. It is about a Jeopardy! obsessed girl named Olivia whose dream it is to be on the show. She watches Alex Trebek and the contestants each evening in preparation for her chance. Olivia realizes that if she can secure a spot on the show she could win tons of money. Most importantly, she would get to go to California where her dad, who left two years ago, lives with his new family.



*The best part was hearing Donna read aloud from her books. She has a great read aloud voice and her humor comes through her reading as well as her writing! She quickly had my students laughing and enjoying our time together. Donna spent quality time with my students reading, answering their questions and showing us her Sid Fleischman Humor Award she received for As if Being 12 ¾ Isn’t Bad Enough My Mother is Running for President.

*Skype allows authors to come into my classroom. Without Skype, I would not be able to treat my students with an experience of an author visit. While not as personal as an in-the-flesh visit with an author, Skype does feel personal enough to allow real connections to happen between my students and their favorite authors.

*My students think Donna Gephart is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and F.U.N.N.Y. and real and nice and the best hula hooper ever (whether dressed in fuzzy socks or pink bunny slippers!).

*Donna Gephart’s books are a perfect match for my students…As if Being 12 ¾ Isn’t Bad Enough My Mother is Running for President…How to Survive Middle School…Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen…We can’t wait for her next book! (Write, Donna, write!)

* Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what Donna is doing this summer. Donna is the 2012 Children’s Writer-in-Residence. She is staying in the slightly haunted third floor apartment at Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. If you visit her blog Wild About Words, you will hear about her work with young writers at the Thurber House Writing Camp, her visit to a castle, and her experience looking at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made from 12,408 gumballs! You’ll also enjoy reading about her crazy 26 mile bicycle adventure!

Thank you, Donna, for sharing your books and yourself with readers everywhere!



Visit Donna Gephart's website to download discussion guides, arrange school and Skype visits, and read excerpts from her marvelous novels.


Borrow Donna Gephart's books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

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