Library‎ > ‎Library News‎ > ‎

Newbery Medal winning author Kwame Alexander visits Burlington

posted May 9, 2017, 1:20 PM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated May 12, 2017, 8:09 AM ]

All of our middle school students were set to hear nationally recognized and Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander speak at Burlington High School on March 14 when Mother Nature interfered with a blizzard.  The rescheduled speaking date was Good Friday morning, a SFX holiday, but six enthusiastic sixth graders opted to attend anyway with Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Finn.    Hundreds of other Chittenden County students attended this outstanding event as well, which was generously organized by The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne.  

To prepare the middle school students for the original event, Mrs. Richards taught Mr. Alexander’s Newbery Medal winning title  The Crossover to all her language arts classes.    Written in free verse, The Crossover lent itself perfectly to listening to the audio version of the book and then writing original poems.  Mrs. Finn worked with the 8th grade Digital Learning class to create an interactive timeline of Mr. Alexander’s life, which the 8th grade students presented to 7th and 6th graders.  

Mr. Alexander’s event at BHS was a dynamic mix of personal storytelling, music and ad-lib celebration of verse with students, all with an aim to inspire young people  never to give up on their dreams.   Mr. Alexander shared how he revised and revised his prize-winning title The Crossover only to have it rejected by 21 publishers.  On the cusp of self-publishing his book, he got a call from Publisher #22…..and the rest is history.    Mr. Alexander’s newest title, The Playbook:  52 Rules to Aim, Shoot and Score in this Game Called Life, reflects his infectious never-give-up attitude to overcoming obstacles and saying “yes” despite the “nos.”  

Mr. Alexander gave sixth-grader Seth  the privilege of reading aloud the author’s  free-verse interpretation of “Rule #7” from The Playbook in front of the whole assembled crowd!

  For more information on Mr. Alexander and his books, click here.