Fifth and sixth grade students at Tenth Street Elementary School in Oakmont have read numerous books by Sharon Creech. On Monday, they had the opportunity to talk with her.
Tenth Street served as the host school for a question-and-answer session with Creech, a Newbery Medal winning author. Other Pittsburgh-area schools joined in via video conference to meet one of the students' favorite authors.
Students asked her about characters in her books, what she loves about writing and how long it takes for her to write a book (she said it takes about a year of writing and editing for each novel).
An Ohio native Creech, who has a teaching background, said she began writing for adults while she was living in England years ago. In the 1990s, she wrote "Abosultely Normal Chaos," her first novel about young people and never turned back.
She has since written more than 15 novels for children. Two of them—"Walk Two Moons" and "Love That Dog"—are part of the fifth grade curriculum at Tenth Street.
"It's so much more fun writing about young people," Creech told the students.
The author won the Newbery Medal, a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, for "Walk Two Moons," her first book published in the U.S. in 1994.
"I thought my brother was pranking me when I received the call," she said. "I realized what an amazing this it was, and it gave me the encouragement to do what I love to do."
Creech's next book, "The Boy on the Porch," is in the development process. She said she's going to take a little break from writing to move into a new house in Maine.