I am happy to introduce Suzanne Lieurance, freelance writer and writer’s coach. Suzanne is also the founder and director of The National Writing for Children Center. Please join me in welcoming Suzanne on her day 3 of her virtual book tour.
Thank you for following me today, which is Day 3 of my 6-day virtual tour for my middle grade historical novel The Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp from Enslow Publishers.
Obviously, this book was designed for classroom use as a way to supplement the regular social studies textbooks when it comes to helping students learn about World War II and the Japanese-American Internment. But I wanted the book to do more than that. I wanted it to also tell an interesting story that even kids today could relate to in many ways. One of those ways involves bullying.
Harry, the main character in the story, actually faces two bullies during the course of the story. The first bully is an Italian-American boy named Tony Rozzi who lives in Harry’s hometown. Tony gives Harry a hard time for being Japanese-American. But later, once Harry and his family have moved to an Internment camp, Harry faces another bully. This time the bully is a Japanese-American boy just like Harry, named Chester Suzuki. I wanted to show readers that bullies come in all shapes and sizes and from all kinds of backgrounds. Sometimes bullies can be quite different from the people they bully. Sometimes they can have a lot in common with their victims. And while bullying can be racially motivated, that isn’t always the case.
As a former teacher myself, I also wanted to help teachers and students see how they can use this book to study all sorts of different subjects and issues. For that reason, I worked with writer and homeschooling parent Amy M. O’Quinn and asked her to develop an Educator’s Guide to go with my book. Amy did a wonderful job of providing ways for the content of this book to be used across the curriculum to teach math, science, language arts, social studies, and even home economics (cooking). The Educator’s Guide is available as a free download at my author’s website at www.suzannelieurance.com. I think students will enjoy the discussion questions the guide provides as well as the various activities it includes.
Teachers should also know that I love to visit schools across the country to talk about my writing and my books. I particularly enjoy helping teachers and school librarians see how they can use nonfiction to help students write better fiction I offer a special workshop about this. Teachers and librarians can find out more about this workshop at my website. They can also follow my tour tomorrow when I’ll give some writing tips.
Thanks so much for following my tour. I hope you will read The Lucky Baseball, if you haven’t already. If you have read it, drop by my website and let me know if you enjoyed it.