Students excitedly await his arrival, formulating the questions about their favorite books in their heads. Their excited chatter is brought down to whispers as a teacher stands on the stage asking them to quiet down. Students clutch their books in their hands, excited that they were going to possibly get the book signed.
Neal Shusterman is an award-winning, American author of over 40 published books, like the Unwind series and the Arc of a Scythe series. His books are recommended to teenagers 13 and older and many of his stories following dystopian type futures and problems that arise with that society.
On Dec. 10, Neal Shusterman will be having a book talk in Tompkins’ library, following many of the books he has created. To gain attention for the arrival of Shusterman, the school will be participating in a Read It Forward competition. The school will place 38 of Shusterman’s books around the school for students to find and then read. After a student is done reading the book, they are recommended to hand the book to another student so they can enjoy the book as well.
“Mr. Shusterman requests that everyone in the audience has read at least one of his books,” said the event coordinator, Librarian Kylee Slough. “There are many of his books currently circulating around the school for Read it Forward or they can purchase their own.”
If a student has already read one of Shusterman’s books and would like to ask him questions in person and attend the book talk, they can go to the library and talk to Slough for more information about the Shusterman visit. In order to have him visit, the school must have had sold at least 75 copies of his book before Nov. 1. The author’s visit will be a free event for any student who wants to attend. The event is being paid for by the school’s activity fund.
“I believe we have about 50 so far (students attending the book talk),” said Slough. “But I don’t have the exact number yet since I do not know how many of our presale books were bought by students or teachers.”
The book talk will take place in the gym, allowing a cap of 350-400 people allowed to attend the event. Students are advised to be courteous and respectful during Shusterman’s visit, to make sure the event is enjoyable and safe for all people attending. Students attending are invited to ask him questions and engage with the author if time permits. Shusterman will be reading an excerpt from his newest book, The Toll, the third book in the Scythe book series.
“If time permits, students will be allowed to bring their books for him to sign,” said Slough. “Hardcover books will get first priority if there are too many for him to sign every book.”
If students want their book to be signed by Shusterman, they will need to put their name, ID number, English teacher’s name and whatever name they would like it to be personalized for, if the name is different from their own. The author’s visit with Shusterman is available to any student who is interested in attending, but students are required to be on campus as the book talk commences.
“As far as requirements to be allowed (in), students have to read one of his books then express interest to us,” said Slough.
The author’s visit will take place on Dec. 10 in the gymnasium at 10:45 a.m. Students are encouraged to attend the author’s visit if they are interested, and they should talk to Slough for entrance to the visit.