Students Interview New York Times Best-Selling Author
Students Interview New York Times Best-Selling Author

[Video] Cultivating a "culture of reading" and student ownership, Lower Form students sat down with one of their favorite authors, George O'Connor, for a revealing interview.

On a mid-May morning, the Hoffman Learning Commons looks more like a television studio than a library. With lights shining and a camera rolling, five Lower Form students are deep in conversation with the day's guest, New York Times best-selling author and illustrator George O'Connor.

The roundtable discussion was part of Mr. O'Connor's full-day visit to campus, which included three talks to groups of K-8 boys and girls in Syufy Theatre.

The student-guided interview covered topics such as Mr. O'Connor's childhood, his early life as an avid reader and artist, where he finds inspiration, advice for students, and a host of questions centered on his popular "Olympians" graphic novel series about ancient Greek mythology. With support from Library Department Chair Amanda Walker CES'91, students took the lead, developing the questions and then moderating the flow of the conversation.

The full-length interview hosted by third and fourth grade students. Video by Robbie Socks.

"Engaging students in real-world opportunities such as this directly supports our strategic plan initiative to 'provide opportunities for students as producers,'" says Howard Levin, director of educational innovation and information services. "When our students contribute in meaningful ways to an authentic audience outside of the school, they internalize their power to contribute and realize they, too, can make a difference in the lives of others."

In front of bigger audiences in Syufy Theatre, Mr. O'Connor had students fully engaged, talking about his process of writing, illustrating and developing characters. He demonstrated a quick sketch technique to show how he brings ancient gods to life and offered a book signing after each talk.