Last week Google led me to a letter written by a 5th grader that rocked my world.
The letter was a state level winner of the Letters About Literature contest sponsored by the Library of Congress. It was written to author Beth Vrabel about her book, Pack of Dorks. I was previously unaware of this chapter book series. Although I don’t know how, because they appear to be immensely popular and also includes a touch of diversity within their stories.
Letter About Literature Contest
The Library of Congress website Read.gov about the contest:
Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally.
The first-place winner for the state of Missouri, Hadley Cline, explained in her letter to Ms. Vrabel about how Pack of Dorks led her to want to learn more about Down syndrome. Which then led her to discover another author, Marcus Sikora, and his book, Black Day: The Monster Rock Band.
She referenced Marcus, and his book, a few times in the letter and concluded with this point:
“…if people would be more encouraging of people with disabilities, they probably will do more amazing things just like how Marcus Sikora wrote a book. The next time I meet someone with a disability, I will work to see into the person and not the disability.” (emphasis mine)
Thank you, Ms. Vrabel, for sparking this young person’s curiosity. Thank you, Google, for guiding me to this story. Thank you, Miss Cline, for opening your mind and sharing your discoveries. And, as always, thank you to Marcus for creating a great story and pursuing your ambitious dreams.
My dear Marcus, your book is included in this letter and article with fellow authors Beth Vrabel, JK Rowling, and Chris Colfer. All of whom wrote or are writing book series, just like you are.
You are teaching the world, one reader at a time, just as these other authors are.
And you are making an impact.
It is coming. The Black Day Two early drafts held so many complex plot lines and new characters, we’ve already been working to break it into two books instead of one. Also, his stories, after two, may lean toward chapter books or graphic novel instead of storybook. We’ll see.
He’s also still been working on his theater ideas, including songwriting (lyrics). Art is a long, long process, but he is working, and we’ll see which project lands on its feet next.
Oh! One More Thank You.
Thank You to…You. You readers and joiners of the Marcus Club. Thank you for encouraging, for sharing, for rejoicing in all of this, the process and the print.