Acclaimed young-adult author visits PM middle schools

Young-adult author Jordan Sonnenblick shared his insights on writing, teaching and making a positive impact on others during a day-long visit to Manor Middle School Thursday. The author of such acclaimed books as Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, Notes from the Midnight Driver and Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip will spend Friday at Marticville Middle School.

His two-day visit was made possible with a grant from Penn Manor Education Foundation.

In addition to addressing all 7th– and 8th-grade students at the two schools, Sonnenblick met with pupils in small groups to discuss the craft of writing, signed students’ copies of his books and blogged with the young readers and writers.

Sonnenblick’s reality-based novels are humorous, but they address illness, injuries, disappointments, identity problems and other issues faced by teenagers and pre-teens. Before becoming a writer, he taught middle school English in New Jersey for 11 years, and on Monday, Sonnenblick shared often-amusing tales of his teaching experience with students.

Because his novels are part of the Penn Manor middle school curriculum, his visit here is a “rare opportunity for students to meet and interact with an author they currently experience,” said Marticville English teacher Deb Goodhart.

In honor of Sonnenblick’s visit, students made posters representing five key objects in each of his novels, which the author judged for originality.