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Rockwood High School Students Participate in Author Visit with Mindy McGinnis

Students view a presentation from an author inside the Rockwood Summit High TheaterStudents from Eureka, Lafayette, Marquette and Rockwood Summit participated in an interactive presentation when author Mindy McGinnis visited all four high schools on Sept. 27-28.

Rockwood high school librarians organized the author visit.

“Author visits are a powerful way to get students excited about reading,” said Rockwood lead librarian Margaret Sullivan. “We wanted to bring Mindy McGinnis to the four high schools because her book, Heroine, is one of the most popular titles on this year's Gateway Readers Award list.”

Rockwood Summit senior Emily Letchworth was one of many who attended the event at her school.

“I learned a lot about an author’s writing process and how much research goes into writing a novel, especially one that isn’t fantasy,” Letchworth shared. “I also learned a lot about the opioid epidemic and addiction as she talked about her research for her book Heroine.”

Letchworth, who enjoys reading, said it’s important to learn about an author’s background before reading their books.

Rockwood Summit High student Emily Letchworth“I feel like authors pull from their own personality or experiences in some ways for their writings,” Letchworth said. “For example, Mindy talked about how she’s always had an allure to dark things, and while she didn’t necessarily have any trauma she pulled from in her writing, she uses that love of darkness to establish conflicts and storylines.”

Sullivan said the topic that McGinnis addresses in her book, substance abuse, is one that is pertinent to many district-offered courses, including health and physical education and Contemporary Issues.

“We knew that there would be a lot of interest in Mindy's presentation,” Sullivan said.

“She talked to us like adults, and I appreciated her authenticity with us more than anything,” Letchworth added.

The event was made possible by a grant that was approved by the Missouri State Library.