LAYTON–Layton Best-selling children’s author Obert Skye, creator of the popular “Leven Thumps” series, completed his whirlwind tour of Davis County last week, visiting 11 elementary schools. His last stop was Layton’s Adams Elementary, where he staged what he called a “kid pep rally” to an enthusiastic crowd, who giggled throughout the show.
“I’ve always been kind of a ham,” Skye said afterward.
The author encouraged the youngsters to pen their own books, laying out the steps.
“What’s the first step to writing a book?” Skye asked the crowd.
“Write your name on the paper!” cried one earnest student, eliciting a roar of laughter from amused teachers.
Good guess, Skye told the child, but not what he was looking for.
“I’m thinking of a certain term,” he said. “It has to do with ‘brain’ and ‘storming.’”
The author, who has visited 902 schools in 48 states in the past 4 1/2 years, said he loves dropping by schools, hearing from his readership and getting feedback.
Skye said he’s amazed by the success of “Leven Thumps.”
“You would think people would have better taste,” he joked before the show.
When he first pictured his career as a novelist, Skye thought he’d be sitting under a tree with a typewriter. Approaching 1,000 school visits, he now sees his gig differently.
“It’s such an active, cool, busy, exhausting job,” he said.
Adams Elementary Principal Charollet Chambers said author visits are more than a live informercial in front of a captive audience.
“When authors come to schools, they do more than just sell their books,” Chambers said. “They sell reading and writing. They get kids geared up and excited about reading, writing and the whole creative process.”
For some students, it was a chance to see a novelist who was once like them.
“It was cool because he was a real author with a real book that’s published and everything,” said fourth-grader Crystal Larsen.
Added fellow fourth-grader Micaiah Shelstead : “I think they picked us because we’re a good school.”
Skye revealed the three secrets of Foo, a magical realm in his books, to Adams Elementary students. They are: have courage, think big, and be great.
“Do not, no matter what, let fear stop you guys from doing the things you know you need to do,” Skye told students.
He talked about overcoming his own fears of robots and cockroaches. Students shrieked and laughed as Skye recounted a childhood story about a cockroach scurrying down his sleeve.
“It thought it was really cool because he shared what his fear was,” said fourth-grader Lauren Allen.
Skye told students how he first fell in love with reading and writing: It happened when he read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory .
At the end, he answered students’ questions.
“Are you a millionare?” asked one child.
“Great question,” Skye said, pausing momentarily. “Next question.”
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