Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

It’s all in the Details

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Did you read about the nine year old boy, Alex Greven, from Castle Rock, Colorado who recently secured a major book deal with Harper Collins in New York after completing a classroom writing assignment? His third grade teacher had encouraged the class to take some time to observe people and their behaviours, and then write about these observations. Alex spent a week watching his classmates interact at recess. He produced a 46 page book entitled, “How to Talk to Girls.” Initially sold at the school book fair for $3.00, the book will now be available in 17 countries. Alex joins that select group of authors who had their first books published when they were mere youngsters. The list includes, among others, Canadians Ken Oppel and Gordon Korman.

I love this story! I congratulate this insightful young man for having written this book, and applaud those around him for recognizing something special in his writing and bringing it to the attention of the right people. But more than that, I love that what inspired this publication was a writing assignment in which Alex was asked to be an “observer of the world.” Isn’t that, after all, what we as writers strive to do every day? We notice those small, innocuous moments in life, we make them bigger, attach meaning to them, and draw what will hopefully be interesting conclusions about them. It’s all about the details and Alex got that at the age of nine!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer is an award-winning children's author whose focus is historical fiction and true stories about the Holocaust. Her many books include The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, Clara's War, The Underground Reporters, Hiding Edith and The Diary of Laura's Twin.

Go to Kathy Kacer’s Author Page