Cam Jansen, the main character in David Adler’s bestselling series, was originally supposed to be a boy named Kodak Barris (after the camera company). Since the publisher was also publishing a different series about a boy, they asked Adler to make the character a girl.
That was one of the secrets Adler revealed to students during his visit to the Torah School of Greater Washington (TSGW) in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Dec. 11. Adler gave four presentations, which included all students in the school, grades kindergarten through sixth.
Another fact he shared was that the first book he wrote, “A Little Bit at a Time,” wasn’t the first book to be published. The illustrator was having trouble with the drawings, so the book’s publication was delayed, and his second book ended up coming out first.
He also told students that the least amount of time it took him to write a book was 20 hours. The longest time was 11 years.
At his visit, Adler explained to the students how he writes books. He shared how they can also write books and think like writers. His most important point was that you just need to get your ideas on to paper. Your first draft can be as messy as you need it to be, and you can fix it later.
He suggested one method for writing books, which was: Write page one on the first day. On the second day, review page one and write page two. On the third day, review pages one and two, and write page three. Keep going until you finish the book! One advantage of this method, he explained, is that since the first sentence and first page are the most important for getting the reader’s attention, it’s helpful to have read it over every time.
The students enjoyed and appreciated Adler’s visit, and many came away with the ambition to write books of their own using his methods.
Lisa Solomson, Torah School librarian, noted that one of her favorite aspects of her job is helping to coordinate the annual author visit.
“Connecting students with published authors increases children’s interest in books, helps them to understand the publishing process, and can inspire even the most reluctant readers and writers,” said Solomson.
By Shoshana Cypess
Shoshana Cypess is a sixth grader at the Torah School of Greater Washington.