Aspiring Authors Learn Firsthand About the Writing Process


Avid readers and aspiring authors in fourth and fifth grade assessed passages and learned about the writing process from Karina Yan Glaser, author of The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, in the C.V. Starr Library and Learning Center at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s on Feb. 12.

Ms. Glaser signed copies of her book and also talked with a small group of fourth graders who are currently co-writing their own novel, ‘The Remarkable and Intergalactic Adventures of Alien Dog!!’ Ms. Glaser answered questions, shared writing tips, and even helped them to practice their “elevator pitch.”

Librarian Angela Perna frequently invites authors to visit her students as a way of adding depth to students’ experience of reading and writing.

The library is part of each student’s school routine from an early age. Once they have become acclimated to the routines of school, the 2- and 3-year-old Beginners make frequent visits to the library. Then, in the nursery program, the schedule includes weekly trips to the library for read-aloud and craft projects. By junior kindergarten, students are able to borrow books from the library. 

In sixth grade, students no longer have a dedicated library class, but they use the space and resources of the library for study, research, and to check out books for pleasure. More than 1,700 books circulate from the library each week.

“Our students love to explore and experiment with books—above, at, or below grade level, without judgment,” Ms. Perna says. “I'm guiding them, but they’re also in charge.”