The seventh grade enjoyed a special Google meet with author Nancy Castaldo, who has been writing books for young audiences and bringing environmental issues to light for more than 20 years. Seventh grade English teacher Michele Debye-Saxinger invited Ms. Castaldo to speak to her students as part of an English Language Arts unit she teaches each year that raises students’ awareness of cultural and global issues.
Many of the students were familiar with Ms. Castaldo’s books, such as Back From the Brink: Saving Animals from Extinction, which she talked about while taking questions from the students. Ms. Castaldo explained how she and other authors alike write about what they are interested in and what they know through research and their own experiences. She shared how she became a writer and how she travels around the world to experience first-hand the topics in her books. She also delved into some of the behind the scenes steps that go into to getting a book made, such as working with a publisher, finding illustrators, and proofing mockups prior to the final product going to print. The students even got to see a few photos from Ms. Castaldo’s next book, which she ran by the students for their point of view.