Students at Orono Middle School take a break from distance learning to participate in a Book Club lead by Literacy and Media Specialist, Dr. Amanda Sass-Henke. The chosen book for this month was Knockout written by K. A. Holt. This was special Book Club meeting, not only did they discuss the book, but their virtual discussion group included a visit from the author. The Middle School Teachers Dr. Sass-Henke, Ms. Rasmussen and Ms. Campbell organized this virtual meeting to give students an opportunity to read, discuss and ask the author questions about the book.
K. A. Holt wrote Knockout in free verse poetry. She told members of the book club that she likes to write in verse because it gives her the freedom to share the responsibility of writing with her readers. Readers use their own minds to fill in details that aren’t specifically written. Members of the club also enjoyed how Holt drew on some of her own experiences with her son to write about the character of Levi who struggled with respiratory issues in the story.
Holt encouraged students to keep reading and writing because reading helps writers understand how dialogue and plot structure work. Holt left the group with this advice: “Your first draft will never be your only draft.”