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New York Times bestselling author visits D91 school

A New York Times bestselling author stopped by Kelvin Grove School to make an appearance at an Oct. 24 assembly and book signing during the annual Milne-Kelvin Grove District 91 Scholastic Book Fair.

Ed Masessa—who penned the New York Times bestseller, “The Wandmaker’s Guidebook”—dropped in to celebrate his recent release, “Wandmaker’s Apprentice.”

The book, itself, draws on the popularity of magical coming-of-age stories found in the Harry Potter and Charlie Bone series’.

“My challenge was to make it completely different from Harry Potter, and that’s why I kept it all based in the real world,” Masessa said. “I try to use as many actual places and things that I can, and I also try to come up with a more unusual plot.”

The event, sponsored by Kelvin Grove and Milne Grove learning resource centers, served as a component of the #Read91 initiative, which aims to stimulate conversations on the importance of literacy within the district’s reading community.

“We have been trying to find a way to make that real world connection with our kids, authors, and writing,” said Sharon Bruemmer, learning resource coordinator for Kelvin Grove School. “We had a thing we started, #Read91. Everything we do we try and promote that hash tag with the kids, and now #Read91 is kind of taking off on its own. We’re becoming a good culture, not that we weren’t a good culture, but a more enthusiastic culture. [It’s important] to continue to build that culture of reading, so that the kids are actually enjoying [the books they read.] It’s about bringing joy back, making that sure they’re engaged, and showing them what you can do as a writer, what does a writer look like, and what does a writer do. They’re excited.”

The initiative started this past summer to provide a means of reaching out to parents and families of District 91 schools.

“It’s the beginning,” Bruemmer said. “We look forward to what our future brings.”

Masessa encouraged students to make their dreams a reality, and said there is no better time to consider the idea of becoming a writer.

“I will tell you, though, if you want to write or want to become a writer, that you should start now,” he said. “You should write everyday, and it doesn’t matter what it is. … In the end, that helps you [develop] a style, and it helps you with sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, all this stuff comes into play.”

Bruemmer gave kudos to the administration and the Board of Education for making the event possible during the school day and recognizing the need to enhance the district’s reading culture.

“We have to credit our Scholastic Book Fair volunteer, Nina Beavers,” Bruemmer said. “She has been volunteering and donating her time to District 91 as chairperson of the book fair. Her and [Scholastic Book Fairs book fair field representative] Deb Banting worked together to bring us this author.”

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