I wrote Meet The Boomer Sisters last year, as a Christmas present to my two daughters (who naturally served as an inspiration for the two main characters). In the process of writing, I quickly learned that even fictional characters have a way of determining their own fates, and my carefully planned plot ended up developing a life of its own.
Ultimately, I think this book is about ideas, with several lessons on courage, learning and love thrown in for good measure. Most of the action takes place at school, and the really significant learning is generally self-directed and self-selected by the awesome kids.
This excerpt comes from Chapter 5. It’s the first day of class at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School. The teacher, Mr. Federico, is greeting his class, which includes BJ Boomer, and briefly explaining his perspective on learning.
Once attendance was finished, the boy named Brian Bard raised his hand again.
“What are you going to teach us this year?” he asked.
“Teach you?” replied Mr. Federico in a surprised sounding voice. “Why, I’m not sure I’ll teach anyone anything at all, although I do hope you learn a lot in our time together. The thing is, most things worth learning cannot be taught, you know.”
This certainly got the kids attention.
“Well, what about reading?” asked Emma, her red hair swirling as she bounced up and down. “Knowing how to read is worth knowing, isn’t it?"
“Of course, of course! You really are very smart already, aren’t you? Yes, reading is important, and it’s something your parents and teachers can show you how to do. But here’s a secret ”“ your parents and teachers don’t really want to teach you how to read.”
BJ gasped, and several other students looked around confusedly.