Think outside the box

For one of my Hanover College elementary education classes, I did an author study. This means I researched a children’s author, presented the information to my class, told them about the author and discussed the types of books he/she has written.

For my author study, I chose Barbara Park (a.k.a. one of my all-time favorite authors). I absolutely love Barbara Park because of the humor she puts into most of her books.

My second grade cousin, Bristin, with her collection of Junie B. Jones books. How cute is she?!
My second grade cousin, Bristin, with her collection of Junie B. Jones books. How cute is she?

As a young girl, I never wanted to sit on my mom’s lap and listen to her read stories. I was too interested in other things and didn’t like to listen or read books.

When I was in second grade, all of this changed. My teacher, Mrs. Marcia Gwaltney, introduced my class to the world of Junie B. Jones. The Junie B. Jones series, written by Barbara Park, includes more than 30 books.

They are about a spunky kindergartener that speaks her mind, and the plot focuses on her everyday obstacles faced as a kindergartener and first-grader. Barbara Park keeps students, teachers, parents and even grandparents laughing as they read about Junie B. Jones’ adventures.

Obviously, you can see I have a passion for these books because they were the first books I enjoyed, and this helped me find my love for reading. In my author study presentation, I shared all of this information, from talking about the history of Barbara Park as a writer to my personal experiences with Junie B.

Today, my second grade cousin reads (and absolutely loves) Junie B. Jones books, just like my sister, Whitney, and I did. Since we have passed down the tradition of our love for Junie B. Jones, I decided to share that in my presentation, too.

My classmates and professor seemed to enjoy my personal connection to the author and the books. Sometimes for classes, presentations or assignments, you just have to think outside the box, take ownership and make it your own!

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