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Young authors: Students at North Hills Christian School write and publish their own books

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — For many students, becoming a published author is a dream. But for a group of fifth-graders at North Hills Christian School, it’s a reality.

Regina Graham’s advanced reading class just wrote, edited and published their own books — working through the process of creating a book from beginning to end.

Graham, who also is the school’s librarian, said she got the idea when she stumbled across a book that had been written by a former second-grade class. Each student created a page, making the book a snapshot of the grade level.

“That would be perfect for this group,” she thought at the time.

Creating a book would allow each student to show off his or her strengths, creativity and talents.

“That’s exactly what they’ve done,” she said.

The small class spent the semester pouring heart and soul into their books, tackling genres from autobiography to mystery and fantasy. Student McKenna Anderson said working on the books took a long time, and students “had to let our creative juices flow.”

“It was so challenging,” she said. “It was fun to do.”

Graham said she set deadlines for particular pages, edited them and gave them back to students. The manuscripts — complete with hand-drawn illustrations — were submitted for printing by company Student Treasures over spring break.

“I liked imagining what my book would look like,” McKenna said.

The books are hardcover. Topics and titles allow student creativity and passion to shine through. Students wrote about pets, dance, mystery-solving cats, Minecraft and golf, among other topics.

In addition to holding a hard copy of something they created from scratch, students said the project taught them perseverance and determination.

“If you work really hard, the work will pay off,” student Rachel Johnson said.

“I think it was well worth the wait and the work,” Landon Merrell said

“I think it was pretty hard to write them, but when we got the finished product it was definitely worth it,” McKenna said.

She added that she would like to write more books in the future. When she finally got her book — a collection of researched facts arranged by topic — McKenna said she kept thinking of other possibilities.

“There were just so many options I could have done other than this,” she said.

But students were, by and large, pleased with their books. Making it a project that Graham said was “very worth it.”

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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