Cheryl Harness     www.cherylharness.com
    November 19, 2008
    Grades 3-4-5-6
       A wonderful and multi-talented author and illustrator, Ms. Cheryl Harness visited Newtown Elementary for the second time around in November.  On a book tour back in 1998, Cheryl came to our school to speak to our third graders and brought along her passion for American history.  She returned to the area and brought more new books that are jam packed with research and new art work.
       Her focus is the history of the United States along with the famous individuals and events that shaped our country as we know it today.
       It was wonderful to have this storyteller come back to show and tell our children not only how our history started but give such detailed information about our country's founding fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to name just a few. She also discussed significant historical events such as the Pony Express, the Erie Canal and our First Ladies to captivated audiences. 
       With the November Presidential election, how fitting it was to have Cheryl,  who has spent her entire life reading, studying, drawing and writing about United States history and those that have influenced it come and speak.
       It was an excellent day!
    10 Big Fat Reasons for Studying HISTORY...
    No. 10 - History provides IDENTITY; who we've been is who we are.
    No. 9 - History's positively thick with ROLE MODELS.
    No 8 - A historical approach gives you a lofty VANTAGE POINT which you can see all sides. 
    No. 7 -  Studying history TRAINS BRAINS in the art of empathy and  the practice of thinking.
    No. 6 - With historical awareness you can be a better CITIZEN.
    No. 5 - History gives MEANING to our surroundings.
    No. 4 - History's full of amazing TALES, mostly true.
    No. 3 - History is EVERYTHING: all that we have said, all that we have done, and all that we have dreamed.
    No. 2 - For the FUN of it.
    Cheryl Harness   
    FEBRUARY 5, 2009
    Grades K-1-2-3-4
    Margery Cuyler
           How could kindness be any more cooler than a day with Margery Cuyler ?  In Margery's bio she writes, "I have always written stories, ever since I learned how to write. My creative wacky family, most of whom are artists, actors, storytellers, and writers, helped me along.  My childhood was never dull. I grew up in the oldest house in Princeton, New Jersey with eight siblings. Most of my childhood was spent playing Charades, Hide-and-go-Seek, Monopoly, and Chess along with writing and performing plays. My parents read aloud to us every night. There was a legend that a Hessian ghost haunted our house during the Revolutionary War.  My house was used as an army barracks during the Battle of Princeton and even though we didn't believe in ghosts, many people told us these stories which inspired one of my books, The Battlefield Ghost.  Because of my love for stories and children, I wanted to write children's books and edit them. I've been lucky to do both.  I worked for 21 years as Editor-in-Chief of Holiday House, Henry Holt, Golden Books, and Winslow Press. Presently I am the Editorial Director at Marshall Cavendish. It allows me to work at home part of the week, and I'm still able to squeeze in some writing time. I live in Princeton, New Jersey, in the same house where I grew up with my husband and two sons." 
              As an author of over thirty children's books she showed off her passion for children and literature and left us with this quote.  " I think storytelling is a act of love. Children's books are carrying the storytelling for our whole culture, and that is an awesome responsibility."
     MAY 6, 2009
     Grades 3-4-5
    WOW !!!!!!   What a way to end this school year here at Newtown Elementary School Library with a multi-talented guest speaker, teacher, poet, and teacher's teacher, Mr. Ralph Fletcher.  He is the author of many books for young readers, from picture books to novels for young adults, including Marnsfield Dreams, Spider Boy, Flying Solo, and Fig Pudding.  Mr. Fletcher has worked for many years with teachers and children in schools across the United States, both as an author and a creative writing consultant. His craft is writing and his tool is the writing notebook. The books that he writes are crafted with beautiful phrases of heartwarming stories, Life Stories to which young or old can relate.  Ralph says, " I believe that the best ideas are living inside you. Your challenge is to dig them out. Do the writing only you can do."    
    It was a pleasure and an honor to have such a distinguished writer come and model his craft lessons to the children and teachers.  He lives with his wife and four sons in Lee, New Hampshire. I
    Stay tuned to what visiting authors and illustrators are coming to Newtown in the 2009-2010 school year!
    So far Hudson Talbott coming TUESDAY, November 17th and Trenton Lee Stewart of the Mysterious Benedict Society on FRIDAY, October 16th.