Author Alyson Gerber visited with our 5th and 6th Graders and spoke to students about writing from experience. She talked about how she was inspired by her experience wearing a horribly uncomfortable back brace as a kid to write her first middle years novel, Braced. She also discussed her follow-up, Focused, about a young girl who struggles with undiagnosed ADHD, as well as Taking Up Space, a coming of age novel about a girl who begins to take ownership of her life. Alyson also spoke about her mystery novel series, The Liars Society, inspired by the book that made her fall in love with reading Ellen Raskin’s classic, The Westing Game as well as her time as high school student at a New England boarding school. Our students cannot wait to read the second yet-to-be-published installment in the series, so Alyson promised that the ISB Library will receive an advanced copy in the fall! 

Alyson shared about her unique process, letting students in on her secrets to success as a writer. She explained that “writing can be a lot of different things: writing is eating different Skittles flavors or changing your clothes when working on different characters; keeping track of your characters wants, needs, and changes by way of color-coded index cards; sitting on the floor to relax and write better dialogue; and simply picking up the phone to call a friend for help when you feel stuck!” Finally, she encouraged students to write their stories, even if it means starting with the shortest versions, because “writing down what you’ve been through makes it real, makes it the truth.”