Local authors finalists in contest

Published 11:52 pm Saturday, April 28, 2007

“Nicholson’s Famous, Finest, Fourth Grade Mix, a Collection of Poetry, Class of 2007” is the book Wendy Lee’s fourth grade class wrote this year. The book won a finalist award at Studentreasures®, the publisher. Whether they won first place or not is still up in the air until next month. There were over 7,000 submission last year and the final count for this year is still undetermined. Being a finalist is an extraordinary accomplishment for this fourth grade class who began this class project back in August.

The class had to make a number of decisions before they could begin to write the book: What would the book be about? How would they determine the content? Who’s story would go first? Second? Last? Why would they want to do this?

“It was a fun thing to do,” said a perky young man named Seth whose favorite author is R. L. Stine because he writes exciting stories.

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Gabrielle said, “We thought it would be good to publish a book.”

“Because the other book of poems and stories impressed us,” said DeJon. The other book was an example book written by another fourth grade class.

“And we wanted to write and be authors,” Seth added.

The decision on content took from August to February. They had so many good ideas, but Madison recommended they write poetry. That idea captured the others’ attention and it was decided their effort would produce a book of poetry.

The class set about writing all kinds of poems: all kinds of subjects from chocolate to bugs, from Christmas to cats to heaven. Each poem written, 125 of them, was studied by the whole class and voted on by each class member. The poems, one for each child, that had the most votes made the final cut for the book’s content.

How they determined the order of presentation is a secret.

Lee typed up each poem with nifty typestyles that matched the mood of the poems, and the children added their colorful illustrations. The combination makes for a delightful reading experience.

Barbara Hendricks wrote the dedication and title in a special calligraphy. She and Carrie Fredricks helped with the title. Marissa, drew the front cover art. “We took all the repetitive words from each child’s suggestion for the title and put them together for the title,” Fredricks said.

The main purpose of the book is to entertain, express, persuade and inform Zack and Seth said. Their inspiration came from the things they loved the most, like chocolate for Zachary, and butterflies for Jaden and Christmas for Gabrielle.

The book is a limited edition.