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Author Alan Gratz comes to Smith

posted Sep 2, 2017, 1:18 PM by Gabriel Grana   [ updated Sep 2, 2017, 1:29 PM ]
Alan Gratz is coming to Smith! For years students have loved books like Prisoner B-3087 and The Brooklyn Nine. Alan Gratz is back with Refugee, a novel about 3 immigrants set apart by time, but brought together by a common goal: the pursuit of freedom. Josef and his family flee from Nazi Germany in 1939 about the St. Louis headed to Cuba. A group of family and friends accompanies Isabel as she leaves Cuba aboard a rickety raft en route to a brighter future in Miami in 1994. Mahmoud and his family escape the devastating civil war in Syria in 2015, only to be met with resistance, greedy swindlers who take advantage of their need to travel, and inhospitable people. Their persistence unites them, and, as always, Alan Gratz writes a compelling narrative with believable, endearing characters who are forced to grow up far too quickly. As timely as it is memorable, Refugee is sure to be a mandatory part of all middle school reading experiences (and that's why I bought 6 copies for the library). 

Date: September 7th
Time: 8th period
How can I come? Get a pass from Mr. Graña, signed by parents and your 8th period teacher, to acknowledge that you'll make up the work ASAP. 
Who gets to go? The event has been publicized at school, and if you would like your son or daughter to attend, then please have them fill out an in-school field trip form (available in the library). Students will need to make up the work they miss. Students in Mr. Gilmer's creative writing class, Dr. Schieman and Mrs. Morales's fifth period, and last year's Battle of the Books students are already on the list. There are still PLENTY of spots available. Students need not attend to receive a signed copy if it is pre-purchased. 
How did you get this awesome opportunity? I work closely with Flyleaf Bookstore to purchase new materials for the library, and am constantly in contact with their Children's Manager in order to secure author visits. It costs nothing to the school, but pre-orders of the book do increase the likelihood of these opportunities becoming available.  
Why is this so last-minute? Mr. Gratz has been receiving a lot of well-deserved positive media attention and so his schedule is becoming increasingly crowded. Additionally, when authors visit they are in a touring cycle, and so accommodating school schedules (the odd timeframes of which do not facilitate easy planning) is difficult. However, I felt it important to pursue this visit because of the timelines of the novel and the popularity of the author.