Bay Village second-graders work with children's author to create books

Second-graders in Kelsy Hoy's class at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village are working with award-winning children's author Rachel Vail in creating their own stories and books. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

Budding authors in Kelsy Hoy’s second-grade class at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village had the rare opportunity to confer with children and young adult author Rachel Vail late last month via Zoom. The award-winning author joined the class for a brainstorming session and discussed Vail’s “Elizabeth” book series, about a second-grader and her experiences growing up.

Hoy said there are a lot of things in school that aren’t normal right now, so she welcomed the opportunity to have her students work on a unique project. “I thought having these discussions would be fun and engaging for our students and would really make these books come alive,” Hoy said.

Students worked on their ideas with Vail, and will turn them into book covers that they’ll present to Vail before Thanksgiving break. Then the 16 students will write their stories for their books. Vail said she may even consider using one or more of the student ideas as the basis for her next storyline.

Vail began her virtual book discussions because she missed meeting children and connecting with them through her work. Bay Village Schools is only the second group of students she has spoken with. Hoy got the idea while scrolling through the author’s website.

Hoy hopes this project will spark her students’ creativity and have a lasting impact on how they read and write.

Karen Uthe Semancik

Karen Uthe Semancik is the communications director for Bay Village Schools.

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Volume 12, Issue 23, Posted 10:04 AM, 12.01.2020