Author Brandon Mull

New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull visited Donna Kouri's school library on December 3. She stopped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences about this memorable day. 

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

Brandon Mull told my students that inspiration can come from anywhere. If you can imagine it, you can turn it into a story. He told them he was inspired to write The Beyonders series after visiting the zoo and staring into the open mouth of a hippo. He thought “What if that mouth were  a portal to another world?” and the series was born.


Brandon led students in a creativity exercise. He called up three students and asked them a series of questions (What did you see? What was on the trees? What did you smell?) and created a story from their answers. Students learned that they did not need to spend hours thinking of an idea - it can be as simple as answering a series of questions. The story they created was quite funny and resulted in uproarious laughter.

My students were surprised when  Brandon told students that the actors in the book trailer for The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe were kids just like them who auditioned for the roles. They were also amazed that the launch of this new book was celebrated with a marshmallow fight that involved more than 2000 pounds of marshmallows. 

The audience will always remember that it is important to do something creative no matter what it is. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is creative. It can be dancing, painting, writing, drawing - anything as long as it creates something new. He then went on to show how our world has improved by people being creative  and how it would stagnate if people stopped. Students thought about the technology is now available because someone was brave enough to imagine “What if?” and create.

Brandon showed students how writing has allowed him to see the world. He pulled out a map and showed the students all the places he has visited as a writer. Their jaws dropped. (I was impressed because Nome, Alaska was one of the places he visited and anyone who knows me knows my love for Nome.)

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about how we were lucky enough to have Brandon Mull visit our school. A fifth grader participated in Anderson’s Bookshop’s summer reading program and won the visit for participating.

I am giving away a signed copy of The Candy Shop War

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 12/28 to 11:59 p.m. on 12/31. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. :)


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