Ms. Cassandra’s class welcomed author Dr. George Thompson last week. The grandfather of Ben Srinivasan saw the book he had written, What Hardy Found, on the classroom shelf during his Grandpersons’ Day visit. After talking with Ms. Cassandra and a few emails later, Dr. George scheduled a visit to MSSA. What began as a small group book discussion evolved into a read-aloud opportunity with the whole class. After the book was read, the students prepared questions for Dr. George and had an opportunity to receive a signed copy. To gain an understanding of the book, below are some of the questions the students asked.
How did you come up with Hardy?
The story just came to me. I had these visions and wanted to get it out. I did not plan it out or write anything down. I just started telling the story about Hardy. The whole process took about four months.
Will there be a second book?
I want the second book to come to me in the way that the first one did. I don’t want to have to do too much calculating. Because my other writings are very specific, I do a lot of outlining and planning. Because I was telling this story, I wanted it to be very different from that.
Which character can you relate to the most?
Hardy is my alter ego. Being outdoors and exploring is very much a part of me.
What makes this book different from your other writings?
It was fun to write and interesting to write because I did not plan it. The story just started carrying me. It was interesting to see what was going to happen. I found that as I was writing, things would come to me that I hadn’t expected to be there.
Were any of the scenarios related to what you went through?
One of the bottles Hardy found in the story was a bottle that I found at our home.
What would you want people to know about your book?
I would want them to know this book is not just for young people. The book has something to offer people of any age. I would suggest you [the students] read the book a few years from now and again later in life. I think you will find something different each time you read it.
The class ended with a greater discussion about the characters and some of the scenes. Dr. George also visited with some of the students one on one and signed copies of the book for them.
It was a unique experience for our Upper Elementary class. Not only did they get to hear about the writing process, but they were also able to ask the author questions about the book. Thank you, Dr. George, for being here and giving insight into What Hardy Found.