Does your child absolutely love The 39 Clues?
Will he go nutty just thinking about the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid to be released?
Was she waiting with bated breath for the mail to arrive with the newest Spirit Animals book, or has she fallen in love with Harry Potter?
Are your kids longtime fans of Kevin Henkes or Sandra Boynton? Do they love Tom Angleberger, Tedd Arnold, or Marc Brown? Do they feel like they know Jane O'Connor, Judy Blume, or Meg Cabot?
Sure they do. It's natural to fall hard for our favorite authors, no matter your age. Many people become invested in the books they read, and feel connected to authors and their characters in ways that are exciting and new.
This year, encourage your kids to combine their love and admiration for their favorite authors along with their writing skills and have them make real-life connections to these author superstars. Really? Really.
It's often easier than you think.
We are so connected these days thanks to the wonders of social media. Most authors have fabulous websites where readers can learn about the background and life of their favorite writers and also connect with them via email. With some help from parents, children today can quickly navigate to the "contact" area of the site and from there, they can either fill out a contact form or find an email address for the author.
Perhaps the author has a Twitter account. If so, with a parent's help, the child can connect with the author in 140 characters or less!
Many authors are active on Facebook, which is another fun way of connecting. Again, a parent can help a child make that initial introduction via the adult's account if the child is not of age.
If the email address isn't there or the site lacks a contact form, most likely there is an address for the author's publisher. Encourage the child to hand write a quick letter to the author, and send it to the publisher. I'm betting that the publisher will quickly pass on all correspondences to the author. Everyone loves to receive mail—even famous authors!
Often, authors and illustrators are much more accessible to the general public as compared to the famous athletes and actors that we see on television, so why not encourage a connection, especially if a child really digs his or her work? Children will absolutely never look at their favorite books the same after they make a real-life connection with the author, and who knows what can happen next!
Have you ever made a real-life connection with one of your favorite authors? Let us know!
Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on Twitter, @teachmama, and let's continue the conversation!