Today several classes are talking to author Sue Stauffacher about her book Harry Sue. For more details on this book, check out the Amazon.com reviews of it. This is yet another TWICE ASK session with Sue. Yesterday’s sessions featured the book Donuthead. This picture is of the paperback cover coming out in April. Sue showed several versions of the cover and how that process happens in publishing.
In addition, Sue talked about visiting moms in prison and talking to them about writing letters to their kids. She helped moms in prison write letters to be published online. Your students can read these letters online too.
Here are some of the questions the students asked in the sessions today.
- Why did you choose to make the granny racist?
- Did Harry Sue want to save Violet or did she save her because she caused it?
- Why is Red Riding Hood so mean in the story she’s telling to the crumb-snatchers?
- How did you think of the character Harry Sue?
- How does your work with prison children affect you personally?
- What emotions did you have while writing the story?
- You said on page 284 that Harry Sue is a composite of several girls. Are you one of them and which part?
- Why does Harry Sue want to go to prison in the beginning of the book?
- What personal experiences helped you write this book?
- How did you choose the names of the characters?
- One of the schools participating today was very interested in Homer, the quadriplegic in the story. Their class has been raising money to help the family of a local quadriplegic build a house to meet his needs. They asked what modifications were made for Homer in the story.
- Why does Harry Sue’s grandma take her anger out on the kids?
This book covers several tough issues including Sudan’s “lost boys,” child neglect, foster care, and parental incarceration. Students engaged in a conversation with Sue about the writing process, the issues in the book, the editorial process, relating to kids like Harry Sue, and the author’s life. Sue is great with the students and addresses serious issues in funny and touching ways. These are amazing programs! Participate next year if you can!