Author of My Weird School Series Visits Increase Miller
Dan Gutman’s first rule of writing: focus on what you really like. He enjoyed researching and writing the Baseball Card Adventure series because he loves sports. His love of photography shows in his newest series, Flashback Four, in which four kids travel through time to take pictures of events that were never photographed.
“Give your characters a big goal and give your story a surprise ending,” continued Gutman in a lively presentation to third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Increase Miller Elementary School. The New York Times bestselling author wore khakis and a red tee-shirt featuring the logo of My Weird School, his most popular series which has sold more than 12 million copies.
Gutman’s day at Increase Miller also included an earlier presentation for primary-grade students. Plus, winners of the school’s Dan Gutman essay contest had lunch with Gutman.
Essay Contest Winners
Get Your Characters Into Trouble
Get Your Characters Out of Trouble!
“We have well over a hundred Dan Gutman books in our library—from picture books to chapter books—and they are constantly circulating among our students,” said Juli Hoffman, the school’s library media specialist. “Most of our students have read at least one Dan Gutman book and many have voraciously devoured more than one of his entire series!”
In-between sharing writing tips, Gutman’s presentation became a call and response between the larger-than-life author and his fans. The author of 125 books shared the excitement of getting his first book published after many rejections and how he came to write series fiction. He described giving his publisher a book about a boy who could travel through time using baseball cards.
“What did my publisher think?” asked Gutman. “They liked it!” the students called out.
“What did they say?” Gutman asked. “Write another!” the children chimed.
My Weird School reached 21 books, with another 12 each in three follow up series
Gutman teased the title of several of the books in My Weird School. The fans gave the last word.
"This one is about a principal who’s so weird he kissed a pig,” said Gutman. “Mr. Klutz Is …?” “Nuts!” the students called out in unison.
Gutman closed his presentation with time for questions. The students used most of the time as a pitch session. They suggested historic moments for Flashback Four such as the Big Bang and interesting settings such as the time of the dinosaurs. “I love talking with kids,” Gutman said. He said he often gets ideas for new books from school visits.
students pitch book ideas to gutman
Thank you IMES PTO!
We are very grateful to the PTO for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students and to parent Ally Chase for organizing such a successful event.