Special to The Sun
Award-winning children’s/young adult author Wendelin Van Draanen was the featured author at two special author visit events at Central Middle School and Sequoyah Middle School on Oct. 3.
Van Draanen is the author of 32 books, including the popular Sammy Keyes mystery series, the Shredderman series, The Gecko and Sticky series and several other award-winning titles, including Flipped, Runaway (a Sequoyah Young Adult Award winner) and The Running Dream (a Sequoyah Young Adult Intermediate Award masterlist book).
She spoke to students in assemblies at Central and Sequoyah and autographed copies of her books in the Media Center. She shared with students the long process of getting books published. Her message: “Dream big-work hard-never give up!”
Sequoyah Library Media Center Specialist Michelle Hasenfratz said, “Wendelin is a very energetic and inspiring speaker. It is so amazing to see how students connect with a wonderful author and her books and become devoted fans/readers.”
Wendelin and her husband, Mark Parsons, created a foundation called Exercise the Right to Read (exercisetherighttoread.org) to encourage students to set reading and fitness goals and also help raise money for schools that can’t afford to provide library books to their students.
As Caradith Craven, Central LMS said, “Wendelin is a whirlwind of energy in motion who uses her dynamic speaking style and motivational message to inspire students to reach their full potential. Her books and the characters in them have touched the lives of countless readers across the country. Edmond schools have enjoyed a very special author relationship with her through the years as she has returned to this area on several occasions.”
Van Draanen also visited several Moore Public Schools during the week, supporting efforts to raise money to help rebuild the school libraries damaged in the May tornadoes. She was also a featured speaker at the OTA/EncycloMedia convention Oct. 2-3 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.