TWICE ASK Author: Bessie Smith and the Night Riders

Today TWICE is hosting an awesome ASK program with Sue Stauffacher on her new book, Bessie Smith and the Night Riders.

Sue is a wonderfully funny author and students really enjoy her books.

Bessie Smith was the “Empress of Blues” and stood up to the KKK at a concert. This picture book tells that story, and during the session, students learn more about the historical setting and history of her story, while learning about the writing process as well. It’s an amazing program!

Here are some of the questions from today.

  • Bessie Smith is a blues singer. Are you a fan of the blues and who are your favorite blues singers?
  • In the book, Bessie is dressed up with fancy clothes. Did she really dress like that? Sue had great pictures to show when answering this question.
  • If you were a character in the book, would you be like the girl who stood behind Bessie or would you be like the boys who ran away?
  • Are the songs in the story real, and how did you choose them?
  • Are there other events in Bessie’s life that you considered writing a story about?
  • What was Bessie Smith’s favorite place to perform?
  • Do you think the KKK still exists today?
  • What gave you the courage to write your books?

Sue Stauffacher loves the ASK program because of the depth of questions and discussion with the students. She also helped students understand the revision process and how challenging it is, and how she moves through the process. It’s partly in your attitude – being willing to make something you like even better!

By the way, there are still openings in the some TWICE ASK sessions with Sue in April if you want to join us!

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